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Cares groups not independent from LAs - Carers UK Forum

Cares groups not independent from LAs

Share information, support and advice on all aspects of caring.
I have just discovered that my local Carers Group is funded by LA money.
How on earth can they challenge Council decisions without biting the hand that feeds them?
Mine is joint-funded by the LA and PCT and they did a really good job of challenging the proposed cuts in the MH and LD budgets which were not in deficit when the PCT had a huge deficit a couple of years ago. They did not succeed in stopping the cuts but they certainly gave the PCT a run for their money, I think it very much depends on the trustees as to whether they challenge the hand that feeds them or not.
I think Parsifal is right, it does depend on the trustees but also the level of funding and what it is given for. It also depends on what the organisation was set up to do ie. what is in it's constitution?

It is undoubtedly a tension if a lot of funding is coming from one source, but many excellent local carers projects can and do challange the council, despite funding and a good LA or PCT will see this as part of their role.

Most local carers centres have contracts to deliver services that otherwise local councils and health authorities would have to provide themselves. They usually deliver very good value for money.
As independent charities they are also free to campaign for carers, and generally speaking, local councillors who are themselves political campaigners, usually respect that position.
Some carers groups, like the Carers Poverty Protest - were set up only for political campaigning, are not charities, and we have no funding from any government or business sources. In fact we fund it entirely from our own pockets. Its a question of horses for courses, isn't it?
It's an interesting point.

We are contracted to provide independent advocacy, and as far as I'm concerned if that's what's on the label, it's what's inside the tin!

A few years ago, one of the independent projects in our area was under threat because the council couldn't see why it should fund an organisation that kept taking it to court. At a meeting, I asked if the organisation won any of the cases. The answer was "all of them." I pointed out that in that case they were doing their job properly and perhaps the council needed to consider why it kept losing! They kept their funding.
I think you are totally right Charles, I am paid to give a legal opinion. I do not care if the client likes it or not if you are funded to provide a service . Then you provide that service I would think in the case of the Council funding a project to perform a particular function then it should perform that a function to the best of its ability, regardless of the council's feelings. I would also suggest it is in the best interests of the Council to continue funding the project as it demonstrates that the Council is impartial.