Making the Cut: Final report

As you may know we've been running a project called Making the Cut for almost two years, speaking to organisations working on a variety of issue and with a range of people across the city about the impact of cuts on front-line services and vulnerable people in Birmingham. Now the project is coming to an end and we are publishing our final report with conclusions from the whole project. Here's what we've been up to...

What we did

Like many people, we’re apprehensive about the long term impact of austerity measures on traditionally excluded groups

In a city like Birmingham that has historically faced systemic patterns of inequality in some key public services – and is also facing higher budgetary pressures than some other localities – issues of inequality associated with austerity measures are a central and mainstream concern

This led us to establish Making the Cut. The project has is helped us to generate a better understanding of the impact of local public service re-design on front line services over time.

What we found

1. More demand and less to provide it

  • The impact of welfare changes continues to drive up need for services
  • But it’s not just that there are more people using services. There are also different groups with different needs that require support
  • And the needs of service users are increasingly complex meaning they require access to a wider range of support and will need it for longer

2. Changing funding practices

  • More funding of consortia/partnerships
  • Funding increasingly short term
  • ‘Softer’ activities get cut
  • Contracts more restrictive and prescriptive

3. Small organisations struggling most

  • Move towards more partnership and consortia funding is more difficult for smaller orgs
  • Trend of larger tenders favours larger organisations providing a broader range of services meaning they win more contracts, and smaller orgs fewer

4. The future is uncertain

  • How can the voluntary sector continue to meet demand and bear the brunt of cuts?
  • Funding cuts could turn out to be a false economy
  • Commissioners and public authorities will need to be more proactive, and less reactive
  • Current policy is simply putting off the problems until a later date

You can find out more about Making the Cut here. And you can read and download the final report below:


Download: icon MtC_Final Feb16 (1.08 MB)