Groups may lose out
Charitable and community groups may see their grants dry up following a review of Porirua City Council’s funding policies.
In a bid to cut 10 per cent from its philanthropic arm in its Long Term Plan, the council may axe its Community Development Fund, a pool of money dedicated to helping small groups like Age Concern, Parents Inc and Titahi Bay Super Club.
The total fund is $26,000. In the past it has been distributed to groups in amounts of $500 to $1000 for expenses like venue hire.
Another option is to reduce funding to larger groups by cutting back the council’s $ 195,000 Community Outcomes Fund, which gives annual grants between $5000 and $39,000 to the likes of Volunteer Porirua and Porirua Sexual Abuse Help.
Money could also be cut from a Regional Emergency Services Fund, which supports Mana Volunteer Coastguard, Wellington Life Flight and Wellington Free Ambulance.
The potential cuts come alongside a review of the council’s charitable giving, says Janet Carlyle, the council’s manager of community development.
There are five groups which for a decade have received a total $110,000 annually from the Community Outcomes Fund, and the council wants to assess whether those groups have become too dependent on council when they could seek funding elsewhere, Ms Carlyle says.
They are Citizens’ Advice Bureau Porirua, Porirua Healthy Safer City Trust, Porirua Community Guardians, Porirua Community Services Centre, and the Safer Porirua Strategic Group.
‘‘It really was about par- ticular groups that we’ve been funding for years and years. That’s one of the reasons for the review, have we set up some sort of funding relationship that’s non- contestable [ where] we’re not really questioning it enough?’’ Ms Carlyle says.
The council is happy to give grants for services it would otherwise have to provide but the funding policy needs to be transparent, Ms Carlyle says.
Porirua Community Guardians manager Terry Ryan says the council’s $20,000 grant pays for his part- time salary, the group’s rent, uniforms and office supplies. If anything, the funding is too low, and Mr Ryan and his team often work beyond their paid hours patrolling events like Creekfest and the Relay for Life, he says.
‘‘ The ratepayers get a Rolls Royce service for what is contributed in the way of funding.’’