Member for Manly James Griffin has slammed a decision by Northern Beaches Council to reduce funding of Community Northern Beaches, Northern Beaches Women’s Shelter and Avalon Youth Hub to nil over three years as short-sighted and counterproductive.

“I appreciate Council want to create a new small grants program to build the capacity of small and emerging community groups, but redirecting funding from these established organisations is not the way to achieve that outcome,” Mr Griffin said.

 “The three organisations identified to have their funding cut do some of the most complex and challenging work on the Northern Beaches. They should be supported and their experience valued, not penalised for their longstanding work. These groups can act as a capacity builder for smaller organisations.

“I encourage Council to review their operating budget and identify another funding source to support their new grant program.”

The Council’s Social Sustainability Policy encourages Council to maximise the use of community buildings and the sustainability of the social services sector. Community Northern Beaches currently co-locate with other important social services providers on the bottom floor of a two-level building in Raglan Street, Manly. Northern Beaches Council staff use the top floor of the premises.

“If the Council want to provide Community Northern Beaches with more revenue-generating opportunities, then they should offer the top floor of the premises to Community Northern Beaches so they can rent out this space and generate additional revenue,” Mr Griffin said.

As Patron of both Community Northern Beaches and Northern Beaches Women’s Shelter I strongly encourage Council to reconsider this decision and develop a more appropriate strategy.

Mr Griffin said, “To be very clear, I congratulate Council on their willingness to support smaller and emerging community organisations. But this should not be at the expense of these three established, revered organisations. There are better and more effective ways to achieve the outcome that Council is seeking.”