Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Boris Johnson cuts funding for 'lame duck' groups

Organisations that rely on subsidies from the London Development Agency, in order to continue operating, may lose their funding under Boris Johnson's new plans.

Speaking at City Hall today, the Mayor's new LDA chief Peter Rogers said that they would no longer invest in "lame duck" groups:

"We shouldn't be investing in organisations which require continual subsidy to operate, unless there are very exceptional circumstances."

He insisted that the LDA would continue to provide revenue funding but that it would be 'tapered' to encourage those groups to find private funding elsewhere.

Labour Assembly member and former vice-chair of the LDA John Biggs said in response:

"The LDA is there to operate in areas of market failure and in particular to help communities which can't help themselves.

"Is there not a clear and enduring role for the LDA to continue to fund organisations which have a worthy regeneration, and possibly social objectives as well, which are not going to be met by private or other sources of funding?"

Peter Rogers replied that in some circumstances they would but that:

"the question is should we be funding the same people in the same climate and the answer is no."

He also said that £3.5  million worth of savings had already been made at the LDA. 

However, claims made earlier this year that 170 people would lose their jobs have been radically cut back. 

After conducting a 'consultation' within the organisation, only 30 posts are now expected to go this year.

Rogers also downplayed the role of the much-vaunted Forensic Audit Panel, saying that they had provided 'no new initiatives' to the London Development Agency.


Chris said...

Those ducks are only lame if you cripple them Boris! Part of the LDA's role has always been social. Cutting off any group which is not self-financing sort of defeats the purpose of having a body which is meant to er finance them.

Anonymous said...

The Evening Standard stories are the perfect cover for these cuts. Where better to wield the axe than in an organisation which has been well and truly discredited.

The Troll said...

You would be forgiven for thinking that yes. I'm prepared to hold judgement until we see the full strategy in March.

angelneptunestar said...

Adam, you must be fair and agree he has to save money. It would be far worse to spend willy nilly, he needs to budget and cut things, and that is the hard truth. That tooth fairy isn't there to bail him out and I bet Gordon is making it as hard as he possibly can.