The VS6 partnership has today written to the Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, Steve Rotheram, and Local Authority Leaders from the six LCR Boroughs to offer our support and solidarity in light of the recent news that the City Region has been placed into the highest Tier 3 COVID alert level. We also offered our gratitude for the recognition and support provided to the VCFSE sector throughout the coronavirus pandemic.
Following an emergency meeting of the VS6 partnership earlier this week, we were also able to outline our concerns regarding the ability of the sector to respond to the predicted high increase in demand for services that are already stretched. These included:
- Organisations that have remained operational through the pandemic once again face increased demand at a time when they have experienced significant loss of income and depletion of reserves, putting many of them at risk of closing for good.
- The implementation of Tier 3 restrictions coinciding with the replacement of the furlough scheme with the less-generous job retention scheme will put the low-paid and those employed in the hospitality and arts sectors, for example, into a challenging financial situation. This will increase the demand on VCFSE services, such as those providing financial and practical support (e.g. foodbanks).
- Many VCFSE organisations in the region will be impacted by business restrictions, with many offering vital community services that will be forced to close, such as community cafes and activity centres, impacting on those dependent on that support.
- Without adequate financial support for our VCFSE organisations, we are at risk of job losses amongst the 24,000 FTE employers working in the VCFSE sector across the Liverpool City Region. This is likely to be felt considerably more within our local grassroots organisations and will impact the sector’s ability to provide much needed support to our residents.
VS6 highlighted our intention to lobby nationally for investment to support the sector in its response to the crisis and to prevent as many job losses as possible. Today, VS6 has made a request to the National Emergencies Trust for a VCFSE Response Fund for Tier 3 areas. We have suggested a £2 per capita fund for the Liverpool City Region and any other Tier 3 areas, in addition to any investment in local authorities.
We believe that if the sector is not supported with additional investment to continue to provide services now, it will result in facing higher costs to statutory services further down the line.
To read the full letter, please see here:
VS6 response to Tier 3 COVID alert level in the Liverpool City Region and the impact on the VCFSE sector