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Bristol Mayor, Marvin Rees, and Bristol City Council will be hosting a special Corporate Strategy Consultation Event, specifically to engage Voscur members and the wider Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise sector. Taking place on 1 December 2016 (9.30am – 12.30pm) at City Hall, the event will give local people the opportunity to hear from and have a conversation with city leaders about the impact of cuts to local authority budgets.
 
We are all aware that Bristol City Council has a huge budgetary challenge on their hands. The national austerity agenda has seen the Council’s budget cut by over £170m in the past six years whilst demand for services continues to rise. Although the scale of the Council’s deficit (£92m) is far larger than most VCSE sector groups, this funding predicament is by no means new to voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations. Groups may well be facing new or further cuts themselves as a result of the Council’s budget decisions and are being forced to diversify their own income streams and increase collaboration in order to stay sustainable and meet local needs. 
 
Voscur is trying to understand and quantify the likely impact of the cuts on the sector in Bristol. The services likely to be affected include youth services, homelessness support services, neighbourhood partnerships, early help services for families, support for carers, drug and alcohol services for adults, community transport and funding for the arts.
 
Voluntary sector organisations also anticipate that they will be affected indirectly, for example, by a reduction in the availability of volunteers as a result of proposed changes to eligibility for concessionary bus passes.
 
If you think that your organisation could be affected by local Council cuts, we would be very grateful if you could fill in our short web survey: http://www.voscur.org/content/corporate-strategy.
 
Bristol City Council are encouraging people to get involved in the delivery of the corporate strategy so that we all can take ownership over improving lives in Bristol. Austerity isn’t just a Bristol issue, but the Council wants everyone in the city to be part of a local approach, working with partners in all sectors in order to make informed decisions that are relevant to local communities. “It is essential we determine our own priorities, especially as we face these tough decisions,” says Mayor, Marvin Rees. “Working together as city partners we can help the people of Bristol better understand the financial challenge we face as a council and how they can contribute to ensuring we secure the most positive future possible for our city.”
 
Please come along to this important event and make sure your voice is heard. For more details and to book your free place, visit: http://www.voscur.org/diary/corporate-strategy-consultation-event