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Reprieve for HAVO brings town council invite

Friday, 9th April 2010.

The organisation which represents voluntary groups in Haverhill is beginning a new lease of life with a summons from Haverhill Town Council.

Haverhill Association of Voluntary Organisations (HAVO) had been faced with closing down after it lost most of its funding, but last minute help from both Suffolk County Council and St Edmundsbury Borough Council has given it a reprieve.

Now town councillors are hoping HAVO will be able to fulfil a function which they had hoped to be able to provide until their bid for partnership funding for it failed a few weeks ago.

St Edmundsbury Council's grants panel had decided not to continue its annual grant to HAVO after the organisation had lost other funding because they considered it unsustainable.

But one of Haverhill's county council members, Phillip French, was given dispensation to award his entire locality budget of 6,000 to HAVO to keep it going.

St Edmundsbury then agreed to provide HAVO's current rent-free accommodation in the former council offices in Lower Downs Slade for another year to give it time to find other funding or revenue.

HAVO chairman MicK Smith said it was not the entire outcome they had wanted, but was better than nothing.

"Things do seem to be looking good right now," he said. "We also now have an agreement with Adcocks of Pampisford, to carry out CRB checks for their engineers who have to work at hospital or school sites and that will bring us in a lot of revenue for the future."

Meanwhile Haverhill Town Council had made a bid for funding from the Haverhill Partnership to employ someone to help voluntary groups in the town with administration and with looking for funding.

The bid failed and this week councillors had to decide whether they wanted to pursue the idea.

Town clerk Gordon Mussett said many voluntary groups in the town struggled to keep up with administration, particularly of various new regulations which governed their activities.

Also, west Suffolk was one of the least successful areas for attracting funding from such sources as the National Lottery and numerous other bodies, mainly because the process was too complicated for time-pressed volunteers to deal with.

Members suggested this was exactly the sort of work HAVO should be doing, and decided to invite its representatives to the next town council meeting to make a presentation about what they could do for local groups in these areas.

Haverhill Online News

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