Scunthorpe Community Association Faces Closure

Thursday 13 July, 2017 Written by  Nick COLE, Scunthorpe Telegraph
Scunthorpe Community Association Faces Closure

A £30,000 a year grant to a community association which operates in the poorest area of Scunthorpe has been withdrawn by North Lincolnshire Council because the funding helps residents secure welfare benefits.

Now the Crosby Association on Frodingham Road faces closure after 23 years in business.

The association based in Frodingham Road has been forced to make its finance manager redundant and put the four other staff on a part-time footing.

Last year the group helped more than 9,000 people and clawed back more than £3million in welfare benefits to which they were entitled.

Vice-chairman and former Scunthorpe Mayor Cyril Nottingham said: “The South Humber Racial Equality Council has already closed down due to lack of council support.

“If the association goes it will leave an even bigger gap in the voluntary and community sector for the people of Crosby.

“Our centre is the last remaining location for free advice and guidance. We are here to get money for the clients, not ourselves.

“We were assured by the council we were doing a good but then told the funding would no longer be available."

Mr Nottingham said at one time the Association received £60,000 a year from the local authority, but that amount had since been halved.

He added: “We are very sorry that it has had to come to this stage, but we will continue to serve the community as best we can."

A spokeswoman for North Lincolnshire Council said “We have been monitoring the level of support being given to families to help those most in need for the past few years to ensure it is meeting the correct standard and making a difference.

"It is important that we secure value for taxpayer’s money on every transaction and therefore we must make sure that everyone engaged with the council delivers to that high standard.

“We now have more people than ever in work in North Lincolnshire; therefore it seems inappropriate to continue to fund a service based just on helping residents secure welfare payments.

“Since 2013 we have been working with Crosby Community Association to ensure they are providing the right service for residents and to address the governance challenges they have been experiencing. Over the past four years a range of advice and support has been supplied, we have been clear about the changes needed to meet residents’ expectations, now they need to see how they can best perform to meet these.

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