Agenda Item No. 6
THE VALE OF GLAMORGAN COUNCIL
COMMUNITY LIAISON COMMITTEE: 4 JULY 2017
REFERENCE FROM CABINET: 3 APRIL 2017
C3523 STRONG COMMUNITIES GRANT FUND (L) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEE – CORPORATE PERFORMANCE AND RESOURCES) -
Approval was sought for the establishment of a Strong Communities Grant Fund.
In October 2016, Cabinet approved a series of recommendations regarding grants to community and voluntary organisations.
These recommendations included, as a basis for consultation and further development, that the Small Community Grants and Voluntary Action Scheme Grants be replaced with a new Community Grants Scheme from 2017/18. To enable this to happen in a timely way, Cabinet approved proposals regarding the operation of these schemes for the remainder of 2016/17. Cabinet agreed that proposals should be developed with regard to ways of operating a Community Grants Scheme and that the Voluntary Sector Joint Liaison Committee should consider options ahead of a further report being brought to Cabinet for consideration in due course. The report provided Cabinet with a description of the work undertaken to date and set out a proposal for the operation of a new Community Grants Scheme, the Strong Communities Grant Fund.
Proposals for the way in which the Strong Communities Grant Fund could operate were referred to the Voluntary Sector Joint Liaison Committee in February 2017 as a basis for discussion as to how the fund could operate. The report to the Committee was referenced in the Background Papers of the report. The minutes from the Voluntary Sector Joint Liaison Committee’s meeting were attached at Appendix A to the report.
The views of the Committee had been considered and reflected in the proposals for the Strong Communities Grant Fund which was described below.
The Strong Communities Grant Fund
The purpose of the Strong Communities Fund was to enable community groups, the voluntary sector and Town and Community Councils to apply for revenue and capital funding that promoted initiatives within the Vale of Glamorgan consistent with the Council’s vision of “Strong communities with a bright future”.
Eligible schemes would include those which were seeking funding to:
• Improve the resilience of organisations/groups or their activities by funding activities which added value to their work and reduced their reliance on grant funding in the future;
• Provide seed corn funding towards initiatives that could demonstrate longer term sustainability;
• Undertake consultation, feasibility, design and other specialist work to develop proposals for future activity and funding bids;
• Meet the capital costs of schemes by purchasing plant, machinery, equipment or other assets or undertaking maintenance work that would enable viable services to be provided, for example, through increased income generation potential.
Applications solely for the funding of core costs of an organisation would not be eligible. Funding towards activities that generated funding to cover these costs would be considered.
Applications from Town & Community Councils for revenue funding would only be considered where they demonstrated that they were a joint bid with a voluntary/community group.
The eligibility criteria would be developed by the Evaluation Panel and publicised to prospective applicants.
At the meeting, the Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Education commented that she was pleased that the various funding streams were being brought together to leverage greater resources and provide more unified support to Community Councils and Organisations.
This was a matter for Executive decision
Cabinet, having considered the report and all the issues and implications contained therein
(1) T H A T the contents of the report and the reference from the Voluntary Sector Joint Liaison Committee meeting held on 8 February, 2017 relating to this matter attached at Appendix A to the report be noted.
(2) T H A T the proposed approach to the development and operation of the Strong Communities Grant Fund as described in the report be approved.
(3) T H A T the commencement of the Strong Communities Grant Fund during the 2017/18 financial year be approved.
(4) T H A T a copy of the report be sent to all Town and Community Councils and be referred to the next Community Liaison Committee.
(5) T H A T Cabinet and the Voluntary Sector Joint Liaison Committee receive an update on the operation of the Grant Fund at the end of the 2017/18 financial year.
Reasons for decisions
(1) To note the contents of the report and the views of the Voluntary Sector Joint Liaison Committee in reaching a decision.
(2) To enable the Strong Communities Grant Fund to be developed and operated as described in the report.
(3) To enable the Strong Communities Grant Fund to begin operation in the 2017/18 financial year.
(4) To inform Town and Community Councils and the Community Liaison Committee of the Strong Communities Grant Fund.
(5) To provide Cabinet and the Voluntary Sector Joint Liaison Committee with an evaluation of how the Fund had operated in the first year and to consider any changes required.
Attached as Appendix – Report to Cabinet – 3 APRIL 2017