The amount of funding Merton's voluntary sector will see next year has been announced.

A total of £9,934,543 is being shared between 154 different community groups, charities and projects in 2018/19.

This is an increase of just over £220,000 which the council called a "small increase in percentage terms" but added that it came "at a time of continued reductions in the level of funding that

local government and other public sector bodies receive from central government."

Cabinet member for community safety, engagement and equalities, Councillor Edith Macauley said: “Voluntary organisations and volunteers are the bedrock of our community.

"In Merton we have an active and flourishing voluntary sector and I am proud that the council is sustaining funding to these organisations, in particular through our 'strategic partner' programme, which we have maintained at the current level for the next three years.

"We are funding a large number of organisations that provide help and support across the entire life course – from birth through to ageing well, and in particular improving outcomes for people with complex support needs.

"However, funding is going to get tighter over the next few years, and we will be working with the sector to explore ways to keep them sustainable as public money decreases.”