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Caroline Flint MP, Labour’s Shadow Communities and Local Government Secretary, responding to Eric Pickles’ letter to local authorities on voluntary groups, said: 

“It’s too little, too late for Eric Pickles to be telling councils not to cut funding to charities and community groups – weeks after they’ve already set their budgets. 

“No council wants to cut support to local charities and community groups, but many councils have little alternative in the face of such deep cuts. According to ACEVO, even if local government cuts to the voluntary sector are proportionate, they will still cost them £650 million this year and nearly £2 billion per year by 2014/15. 

“People won’t be fooled be Eric Pickles’ hand-wringing or empty promises, when it was him who chose to saddle local councils with such huge, frontloaded cuts in the first place.” 

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