I completely agree with last week’s letter from Jim Surguy as regards the very large cut in the Epping Forest District Council’s grant aid budget for voluntary groups.

Although I supported the budget overall this large reduction from £90,000 to £41,000 in the monies to help small scale voluntary groups in Epping Forest cannot in my opinion be justified.

Throughout our district the voluntary sector is ‘worth its weight in gold’ and study after study has shown that a vibrant voluntary sector in fact saves the public purse huge amounts of money.

On a more positive note I am very pleased to be able to share that Loughton Town Council continues to fully understand the importance of the voluntary sector and recently allocated very nearly £30,000 to key community groups that offer services to the residents of Loughton.

Stephen Murray

Loughton Town and District Councillor