Merton Council’s cabinet made a commitment to keep on supporting a range of voluntary organisations until 2022.

This development came at a cabinet meeting on Monday, September 17, where the Strategic Partner Programme 2019/22 – commissioning requirements report, was approved.

Cllr Edith Macauley, cabinet member for community safety, engagement and equalities told the meeting: “I am very pleased to present the draft funding for the strategic partner programme.

“This is the product of six months of very hard work.

“The working group combines service commissioners across the council as well as CCG working together with colleagues across the voluntary sector.”

Organisations will be able to bid for funding next month with a deadline of November 12.

Currently, the annual cost of the programme is £682,000 and grants were extended for one year until 2019 – to allow for the new programme to be developed.

At the moment, recipients include Citizens Advice Merton and Lambeth which gets £341,898, South West London Law Centres which gets £56,034 and Merton Voluntary Service Council getting £125,484

Council leader Stephen Alambritis added: “This is a very, very good report. It continues to show the council’s values in support of the voluntary sector.

“[It will] make sure the organisations are there to help the residents who seek their support.”

What are the costs?

Money set aside for the new programme covers the period from 2019-22, with the information and advice and voluntary sector infrastructure support elements subject to another cabinet decision in 2020/21.

Costs include £1.06 million over two years for information and advice services and £370,000 for voluntary sector infrastructure support both from the council’s core budget.

Another £1.2 million will be allocated to wellbeing services and £829,000 to carers services from the adult social care budget.

A one year pilot of £30,000 for an ‘innovation fund’ for health and well being, funded by the Improved Better Care Fund.

Grant funding available for Healthwatch Merton will be £375,000 over the three years met from the corporate services budget, Department of Health Local Reform and Community Voices grant.