Uttlesford District Council pledges £150,000 for voluntary sector

UDC has pledged to support the voluntary sector in its 2013-14 budget.

UDC has pledged to support the voluntary sector in its 2013-14 budget. - Credit: Archant

NEARLY every resident is set to benefit from Uttlesford District Council’s budget for the 2013/14 financial year, according to the authority’s portfolio holder for finance.

Cllr Robert Chambers said there would be over £700,000 investment in council services, including £150,000 for the voluntary sector.

“I do not think this country can run without the voluntary sector,” he told a cabinet meeting on Tuesday.

“We all feel very strongly about the importance of voluntary organisations and I’m delighted we can put in a significant amount of money to help them.

“There are £500,000 of ongoing efficiency savings and a one per cent cut in Council Tax. I think this has a lot in it for different parts of the community – there is something in the budget for most people.”

The Liberal Democrat group put forward an amendment to the proposals by calling for a £1.2m business incubator unit to help promote growth and boost job creation.

It was based on a model by Braintree District Council to create six industrial units and six office units with shared communal facilities to be supported by business advisers and administrative staff.

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Lib Dem leader Cllr David Morson said there were two parts to the proposal, the first to put forward £150,000 from reserves for businesses to receive advice on how to make energy efficiency savings, and the second for a £1.2m capital investment over two years for the business incubator.

But the cabinet chose not to adopt the proposal, with leader Jim Ketteridge saying a great deal of time and effort had gone into the budget as it was.

He said a lot more work needed to be done on the proposal but did not rule it out in the future, before adding that money had been invested in economic development during the past year.