No spending cuts envisaged for charitable trust organisations

Organisations funded by Shetland Charitable Trust can look forward to financial stability for at least the next three years – a stark contrast to the swingeing cuts about to hit services provided by Shetland Islands Council.

Trustees will meet on Tuesday to approve a budget of £10.9 million in 2012/13, which is in line with the trust’s policy of avoiding eating into reserves by spending no more than £11 million year.

The trust is entering the first year of a three-year budget plan which should protect all the services and the hundreds of jobs that it funds until 2015.

Most of its spending goes on the running costs of Shetland Recreational Trust, Shetland Amenity Trust and Shetland Arts along with £2.5 million towards the cost of running the rural care centres.

The Christmas bonus scheme costs the trust £500,000 a year and it pays the £2.2 million-a-year cost of maintaining many buildings, including leisure centres.

Until 2015 just under £1 million a year will go to independent community and voluntary organisations, including Shetland Youth Information Service (£188,840), COPE Ltd (£154,967) and Voluntary Action Shetland (£144,367).

The Citizens Advice Bureau will receive £147,383 next year, falling to £132,265 when temporary funding for a second welfare rights worker comes to an end in 2013/14.

At Tuesday’s meeting, trustees will be asked to agree a one-off payment of £36,180 for Shetland Arts to help it balance its budget after incurring unforeseen running costs for the Garrison Theatre when it took over management from the council. The so-called “spend to save” payment to Shetland Arts is expected to also help the arts agency reduce its staffing costs by £72,000 a year through reorganisation.

Trustees will also have to decide on a transitional payment of £64,842 to help Shetland Recreational Trust change its leisure centre opening hours to better suit the needs of the SIC.

Despite the cap on spending, the trust has found the cash to pay £200,000 to repair the rotting roof of Scalloway swimming pool.

The trust’s own administration costs are being kept at £540,000 a year for three years, which is five per cent of overall spending.

Trust chairman Bill Manson said on Friday he was “very pleased” to be able to present the budget for approval despite the difficult economic climate.



Add Your Comment
  • Alan Skinner

    • February 17th, 2012 14:04

    Shetland will end up having lots of “nice to have” services, funded by Shetland Charitable Trust, whilst Shetland Islands Council destroys what many of us would see as “essential” services e.g. education, community services etc.
    We are a small community. Surely we are capable of joined-up thinking and serious debate about what we genuinely need.

  • Sandy McMillan

    • February 18th, 2012 22:31

    Bill Manson may have a smile on his face, and feeling very pleased with himselve, he can can go home knowing he wiil have bread on the table, Bill Manson and Co have totally forgotten about the 50 or so pensioners who are about to get dumped on to the streets, when they close the Freefield Centre, Is it not time the SCT stepped in to help these vulnerable Shetland folk, after all they have as much right to the cash as the charities he has handed out to, after all they are in need, if the SCT cant look after the elderly, then its time to put the gun to there head, as they are a waste of space, and of no good to the community of Shetland


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