Victim support charity faces public funding threat

Victim support charity faces public funding threat

Senior employees at Victim Support Scotland (VSS) have raised complaints after members of the charity were told they faced compulsory redundancy.

The Herald reports that the Scottish Government has commissioned accounting firm KPMG to carry out an external funding review of the charity, which receives over £4 million a year in public funding.

The charity was expecting to soon begin distributing cash from a new £1.2 million fund raised by a surcharge on court fines, but the existing fund’s chief executive Jim Andrews is among those who could lose their job before that happens.

A spokesperson for the Scottish Government said the victim surcharge would still be introduced “later this year” to finance “a fund to be used to support victims of crime”.

VSS board members met officials from the Scottish Government justice directorate on Friday to discuss the situation.

A Scottish Government spokesperson said the government “continues to support VSS’s existing victims fund for providing immediate assistance to victims”.

She added: “Government officials regularly meet with Victim Support Scotland, as with other organisations which receive public funding. Discussions typically cover a range of matters relating to the provision of support for victims of crime.”

However, the threat of redundancies has prompted formal complaints by affected staff members.

David Sinclair, the charity’s communications manager, told The Herald: “I was informed by a colleague while on annual leave that I was being made compulsorily redundant.

“As a result of the process followed, I have lodged a formal grievance with VSS which has still to be heard.

“Because the proposal has serious implications for my professional reputation I have little option but to pursue that grievance up to and including a tribunal and other legal means.”

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