Established 2005 Registered Charity No. 1110656

Scottish Charity Register No. SC043760

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Day centre fends off closure

May 18 2009
The West London Mission: how much more can they give? The West London Mission: how much more can they give?
The future of West London Day Centre is uncertain after Westminster Council refused to renew its annual grant. City Hall has withdrawn almost half of its yearly £78,000 contribution, which is needed to keep the centre up and running. West London Day Centre (WLDC) is still to receive £44,000 of the original grant, which comes from Central Government funds, but the cut was enough for Labour councillor Paul Dimoldenberg to brand the decision "nasty and vindictive". The WLDC - managed by the Methodist Church through the West London Mission - has been running for more than 30 years. The mission contributes around £150,000 a year to the running of the centre. Its director of social work, Paul Thompson, said its funding may not stretch to fill the financial hole left by the council, though the WLDC's director of services, John Deacon, told The Pavement: "We have breathing space." Karen Buck, Labour MP for Regent's Park and Kensington North, joined the criticism, saying: "Westminster Council has a long and dishonourable history of seeking to minimise its commitment to services of this kind." She added that even though more than 90 per cent of the council's total budget came straight from central government funding, City Hall was still looking for ways to shift its spending responsibilities to others. A council spokesman said WLDC's application for the grant had failed to meet the award criteria in several areas. But Dimoldenberg blasted the decision, saying: "Westminster Council is one of the richest in the world and if they haven't got the decency to provide for people who are extremely vulnerable it demonstrates the depths to which the Conservatives have sunk."
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