Agenda Item No. 4
THE VALE OF GLAMORGAN COUNCIL
VOLUNTARY SECTOR JOINT LIASON COMMITTEE: 8 FEBRUARY 2017
REFERENCE FROM CABINET: 31 OCTOBER 2016
C3344 Reshaping Services Programme - Grants to Community and Voluntary Organisations (L) (Scrutiny Committee - Corporate Performance and Resources) –
Cabinet was provided with an update on the position with regard to the Small Community Grants Scheme and Voluntary Action Scheme.
The Council's Reshaping Services Programme included a project relating to "Effectiveness of Spend". This project was established to consider the way in which the Council’s grant funding was approved, administered and spent in order to ensure that maximum value was derived. Consideration was also being given to the way that grant funding could be coordinated with other sources in order to make best use of available funding within the context of decreasing Council finances.
The report highlighted the two current grant schemes that were available;
Small Community Grants Scheme - Prior to 2015/16, local groups and voluntary organisations were invited to apply for funding under this scheme
Voluntary Action Scheme Grants - The Voluntary Action Scheme had been in place for a number of years with the arrangements and priorities for funding being proposed by the Voluntary Sector Joint Liaison Committee and agreed by Cabinet.
The report highlighted that the Council needed to consider options for the delivery of a new Community grants scheme and would benefit from the input of external partners in this work.
Potential future operating models could take a number of different formats. These could include working with a third sector grant body to assist with match funding and co-ordination of grant funding, for example, the Waterloo Foundation. Approaching Glamorgan Voluntary Services (GVS) to assist with and input into the grant funding assessment process was also a potential option as the organisation already played an active role in supporting the local Voluntary Sector and signposting organisations to potential sources of funding.
The Chief Executive of GVS was a member of the Reshaping Services programme board and was therefore aware of the challenges the Council was seeking to address and contributed to the Reshaping Services Town & Community Councils and Voluntary Sector project team.
Options for how the scheme could operate would need to be evaluated against their ability to meet the criteria for the Reshaping Services effectiveness of spend project.
It was proposed that options be developed for the operation of the Community Grants Scheme through consultation and further research. Further research would be undertaken by Officers to inform the development of the options above for how a Community Grants scheme could operate, including eligibility, assessment and administration processes.
Once this research, consultation and consideration had been undertaken, a further report would be brought to Cabinet. The report would include recommendations for the future organisation of the Community Grants scheme with a view to this operating during the 2017/18 financial year. This would include the setting of criteria to ensure that any applications were assessed having regard to the Council's Corporate Priorities and the Reshaping Services agenda.
After presenting this item, the Leader highlighted Paragraphs 3, 4 and 5 of the report which covered the changes made to Community Action Self Help grants, developing community facilities through Section 106 agreements and expanding the Creative Rural Communities Model.
The Managing Director commented that these schemes provided a variety of sources of income that could support many communities. He further commented that schemes would need to be evaluated against their ability to meet the objectives of the Corporate Plan and the Council’s Reshaping Services programme. These criteria were detailed in paragraph 13 of the report.
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 Small Community Grants Scheme and Voluntary Action Scheme and associated budgets be replaced with a new Community Grants Scheme from 2017/18 and that this scheme be used as the basis for consultation and further development.
(2) T H A T the proposals for the operation of the Voluntary Action Scheme and Small Community Grants Scheme for the remainder of 2016/17 be approved.
(3) T H A T subject to resolution one above, the report be referred to the Voluntary Sector Joint Liaison Committee for that Committee to consider approaches to the operation of a Community Grants scheme.
(4) T H A T a further report be brought to Cabinet in due course for consideration.
Reasons for decisions
(1) To provide a basis for developing proposals.
(2) To enable the grant schemes to operate for the remainder of the financial year.
(3) To support the development of a Community Grants Scheme by engaging with relevant organisations to elicit their views.
(4) To enable informed consideration by Cabinet.
Attached as Appendix – Report to Cabinet – 31 OCTOBER 2016