Steady progress on family project appeal

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Ripon’s under-threat family support project has seen an emergency appeal to the city council turned down, but is still holding out hope funds will come from another source.

The project, which is run by the Council for Voluntary Services (CVS), asked councillors for £1200 to keep services running for another month at this week’s meeting of a city council committee.

But the council has refused to give any more money until the CVS has shown it can fund the scheme in the long term.

Coordinator Liz Copas, who runs the scheme, visited a meeting of the Finance and General Purposes Committee to explain her work and appeal for the funds.

Despite saying they support the project’s work councillors decided not to grant the request straight away.

“There is no doubt it is a very good cause, but if we give this money and the scheme then closes we have wasted public money,” said Coun Pauline McHardy.

Mayor Coun Mick Stanley agreed, saying he was concerned that giving money to the project when it did not have sustainable funding would be “a poor use of tax payers money.”

However, Coun Stuart Martin, who is also chairman of the CVS, called the project “life saving” and said that without help until they find sustainable funding the scheme would end.

“We urgently need financial help to keep the project alive.”

Speaking after the meeting Coun Martin went on to say:

“I haven’t had the city council’s official response, but I understand they are quite happy to give money once there is sustainable funding in place.

“I appreciate what they are saying, but it’s a chicken and egg situation. We need their support, and if we had sustainable funding we wouldn’t need their help.”

“There’s one or two other things in the pipeline which we should hear about in the next week. We are hopeful that we can the project keep open.”

As the Gazette reported last week, the family support project is facing a massive funding crisis since grants were cut earlier this year.

The project offers practical help and support to children and families with all kinds of family problem, from domestic violence to social care, currently supports more than 30 families in the Ripon area.

•Send cheques payable to “Ripon CVS” to: Family Support Project Appeal, Ripon CVS, Community House, Allhallowgate, Ripon, HG4 1LE. There are also collection boxes at Tiffin’s Cafe in Community House on Allhallowgate, the Mayor’s parlour, in the town hall, and at the Ripon Gazette office on Kirkgate.