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Historic cuts threaten the most disadvantaged says Trust Thamesmead's charity chair

PUBLISHED: 12:39 28 October 2010

Vic Grimes

Vic Grimes

Archant

The chair of community charity Trust Thamesmead Vic Grimes said that public sector cuts are already hurting and expects the pain to increase following the announcement that public spending is to be slashed by £83billion over the next four years.

Mr Grimes said: “Few of us yet know or understand what David Cameron’s Big Society really means or what threats and or opportunities it offers, despite an announcement that there will be government support for citizenship and Big Society projects.

“However, it is clear that the state is withdrawing and, as such, our expectation of what our Government can deliver must reduce and communities will need to learn or re-learn what self-reliance and community support means.

“Through the 40-year-plus history of Thamesmead very often our residents have had to fall back on their own resources and networks when normal public service provision failed.

“The recession, banking crisis and public sector cuts all serve to further underpin my previous position; Thamesmead still needs major investment in transport, education, housing, health and the public realm. Perhaps our overall case is as strong as anywhere else in London or the South-East.

“We clearly live in different, difficult and very uncertain times and there is no doubt we need a renewed focus on building self-reliance, strong local networks and greater community ownership and influence over our local services.

“In reviewing last year’s work I was particularly pleased to see the increasing numbers of people we supported into work, our clear commitment to train local people to do it for themselves and our insistence that local people are fully involved in our key projects.

“We live in exciting if very uncertain times. If you feel you share our passion and commitment to Thamesmead, social justice and creating opportunities for all our residents and you believe you have something to offer then I would like to hear from you.”

Trust Thamesmead’s Annual Report and Review can be downloaded from www.trust-thamesmead.co.uk

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