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Challenging a Decision

For many local voluntary- and community-sector organisations, the funding crisis arises from cuts in local public-sector funding prompted by the financial settlement with central government. Groups will therefore need to make a tactical judgement as to the likelihood of changing funding decisions by local authorities and PCTs in the current climate.

Generally speaking, if the manner in which a decision has been taken has been in some way unfair or unreasonable, you may be able to get that decision reviewed and your funding initially reinstated, but this may not result in any change in the final decision.

Challenging a decision may buy you some valuable time, or it may prove a distraction from other necessary tasks.

There are a range of mechanisms available:
• lobby elected members
request information on the decision under the Freedom of Information Act
• question whether an Impact Assessment has been carried out
• check whether the decision is compliant with the local Compact
• make a formal complaint under the funder’s own complaints procedure
• where a complaint related to the Compact remains unresolved, take this further through the Compact Advocacy Programme
• seek a judicial review of the decision under public law, possibly with the support of the Public Law Project