North Lincolnshire MPs meet with members of voluntary sector
Communication is a huge problem for voluntary organisations in North Lincolnshire, especially when dealing with the council or the health service in funding negotiations, writes Carol Thornton of Voluntary Action North Lincolnshire.
This is the message that MPs Nic Dakin and Martin Vickers will take back to Westminster after a meeting with representatives of the local voluntary sector.
In a question and answer session organised by Voluntary Action North Lincolnshire, the two MPs fielded some searching questions on the changes caused by the Government's Big Society plans.
The meeting was held at Scunthorpe Baptist Church on Ashby Road.
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The MPs said they already knew that the main problems were lack of cash and lack of volunteers to provide the services being requested.
Mr Vickers said he knew many local villages where groups were all run by the "usual suspects", and where resources were squeezed in the current financial climate.
Mr Dakin explained he understood how volunteers are often asked to give a lot, but they also gain a lot from the experience. But he said in some areas, such as parts of Scunthorpe, there are people who find it difficult to make that first contact to set them on the road to volunteering.
Christine Parker, of HomeStart, asked how the Government expects voluntary organisations to deliver services when facing severe cuts and consequent downsizing. The MPs agreed that with the best of intentions, what is set in motion from the top sometimes has unwanted consequences.
They urged local groups who are experiencing difficulties to tell them their stories so they can go back to Parliament with extra information to back up their attempts to influence policy.