Redditch Town Hall copyright Rob Newman

Executive Members of Redditch Borough Council are set to engage with representatives of the Voluntary and Community Sector to forge a way forward so they can continue to benefit the town.

After listening to representations from several voluntary organisations  the Council has decided to review its recent rent support recommendations for the Voluntary community sector.

Consequently the report has been pulled from Tuesday’s Executive agenda as leading Members schedule a round of talks with VCS groups

The papers recommended that the Council, over the next two years, reduce its rent concessions which are budgeted at £15,000 per year but overspend by £82,000 a year.

But now Executive Members, who called an urgent meeting today, want to get together with VCS representatives from the town to listen to their views and discuss future alternative arrangements and funding sources for the rents.

Cllr David Thain, whose portfolio covers corporate management, said: “We have listened to the voices which have come from the VCS over the past few days and want to get round the table

“We recognise the invaluable work these groups provide to the borough but we have to still recognise that this Council faces tough financial challenges.”

At the pow-wow Cllr Mike Rouse also mooted using the ever popular Bonfire and Fireworks spectacular as a fundraising event.

He said: “We currently provide this event for free but we would like to use it to benefit our valued VCS.

“So we are going to organise people with collection buckets to ask for donations which will go straight to the VCS pot.”

It is anticipated a new report, including the reform to concessionary grants and future alternatives will go before Executive in December.

Council Leader Matt Dormer added: “We face tough decisions and we are not retreating from making these, but rather are going to look for other sources to help our valued VCS organisations to continue to exist in the Borough, and with their help I am sure this can be achieved.”