Any changes to funding could hit groups hard

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Opposition councillors have rightly expressed concerns about the potential impact of a freeze to the county council’s Community Chest fund.

Admittedly, the Labour administration has said that this is just part of a wider review into how money is spent, which can only be welcome at a time when more and more cuts have to be found in already-slashed local authority budgets.

But the first concern is for the immediate effect this moratorium could have on small groups and organisations that see the Community Chest as a lifeline in straitened times for them too.

Everything from arts groups to sports teams and youth projects to annual events bid for funding and there is a chance that a review could put activities being lined up for this summer in jeopardy.

One example is the Gallery Youth Project in Alnwick, which has booked a bus for its summer trip, but without the £1,500 Community Chest funding they were expecting, they might well have to cancel it.

How many other people could be left in the lurch?