County council defends decision to stop funding Sussex youth charity

WSCC
WSCC

The chief executive of West Sussex County Council has said it would not have been ‘appropriate’ to continue funding a youth charity of 41 years, which is now closing down.

Outset Youth Action, which has helped thousands of young people, announced yesterday that it is set to close at the end of this month due to a loss of funds and county council funding in particular.

Nathan Elvery, chief executive of West Sussex County Council said he was sorry to hear of the closure but the charity could not ‘provide for a long-term future’.

He said: “As a county council we are committed to working in partnership with the voluntary and community sector and highly value the great work delivered by these organisations to the residents of West Sussex. Outset Youth Action is one of those we have supported for many years.

“However it is absolutely crucial that we continue to evaluate the funding we provide based on the needs of our residents and our organisational priorities, particularly as we need to make sure we are spending every penny of council tax payers’ money in the very best way.

“In recent months we have worked extremely closely with OYA to support them to improve their financial position and processes and even funded some external support to help them explore their options to ensure their long term sustainability.

“This support has unfortunately not been able to help OYA remodel its operation sufficiently to provide for a long term future and as such it would not be appropriate for the County Council to provide any more funding to the organisation.

“With any application for funding we always assess the proposal on its merits and in line with our organisational priorities as set out in the West Sussex Plan which sets out how we will work with and support our communities.”