Venue: Conference Room, Council Offices, The Campus, Welwyn Garden City, Herts, AL8 6AE. View directions
Contact: Suzanne Hulks
SUBSTITUTION OF MEMBERS
To note any substitution of Members made in accordance with Council Procedure Rules 19-22.
Councillor A Chesterman substituted for Councillor J Fitzpatrick.
To note any apologies.
Apologies were received from Councillor J Fitzpatrick.
To confirm as a correct record the Minutes of the meeting held on 7 December 2015 (previously circulated).
The minutes of the meeting held on 7 December 2015 were confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.
NOTIFICATION OF URGENT BUSINESS TO BE CONSIDERED UNDER ITEM 8
The Chairman agreed to accept an update from the Head of Resources on the allocation of the Annual Grant fund and subsequent representations.
This item was considered urgent as Members needed to be aware of the outcome of the allocation process.
DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST BY MEMBERS
To note declarations of Members’ disclosable pecuniary interests, non-disclosable pecuniary interests and non-pecuniary interests in respect of items on the Agenda.
Councillors L Chesterman and S Johnston declared an interest in items on the agenda relevant to them as County Councillors.
Councillors A and L Chesterman informed the Committee that they knew two of the applicants for Community Grants, but this was purely through their work in the community and it did not constitute a declarable interest.
Report of the Director (Finance and Operations) detailing the applications for Community Grants.
Members were provided with answers to the questions that they had posed to Douglas Tilbe House concerning evaluations of the service, confidentiality, level of unrestricted reserves, fund-raising activities and whether funding was being sought from the County Council.
Members were content with the answers and confirmed release of funds on the basis of them.
Members received applications for Community Grants which totalled £8,696 and there was budget available of £9,952.
3rd Hatfield Air Scout Group
An application was received for an amount of £300 towards providing extra leaders for group members with additional needs and financial support for families on low income.
Members were supportive of this application which was a first from this group, for a relatively low amount of money and which supported young people, those with additional needs and those who might need financial support.
AGREED a Community Grant of £300.
Breaks Manor Youth
An application was received for £2,000 to be used as a contribution towards the refurbishment of a kitchen which would be used, in part, for a project to focus on healthy living including the preparation of meals, use of healthy ingredients and budgeting for young people.
Members considered this application carefully as there was some concern that this project should be funded by the County Council rather than Welwyn Hatfield. However, they felt that the project to encourage young people to cook and eat well was a positive initiative. They also recognised that the kitchen would be available for other community groups and would be designed to provide disability access.
Members requested that evidence be provided of the costs of the kitchen refurbishment.
AGREED a Community Grant of £2,000 subject to the evidence of the project costs being submitted.
An application was received for the amount of £600 for the repair of a dishwasher.
Members noted that, whilst the amount seemed high for a repair, the dishwasher was an industrial model.
Members noted that the application was not for the full amount of the repair and that Friendship were able to fund the difference from their own funds.
AGREED a Community Grant of £600.
Hatfield Hyde Cricket Club
An application had been received for £1,296 which would be part funding for a new sight screen.
Members noted that this was first time application from this group and that there were several junior teams and over 75 senior players so providing a sporting facility for the community.
A suggestion was made that members of the club could be asked to contribute to buy this equipment, but it was felt that this would be a financial burden that many could not afford and could lead to members leaving.
AGREED a Community Grant of £1,296.00.
Home Start Welwyn Hatfield
An application had been received for £2,000 to help pay for training, rent, salaries, insurance and other office running costs.
Members expressed some concerns about this application for the following reasons:
1. Home Start Welwyn Hatfield would be joining with other Home Start groups ... view the full minutes text for item 6.
Report of the Director (Finance and Operations) detailing the applications for Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Awards.
Prior to discussing the applications for Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Awards, Members were advised/reminded of the following:
1. One of the starter applications had been withdrawn
2. Ellen Day had applied for both Exemplar and Improver awards but was ineligible for Exemplar as she did not meet the criteria
3. The four eligible applications for Exemplar awards were all in the sports category and only one award could be given in each category. It was within the right of the Board to transfer the unsuccessful applications to the Improver group, although this was not a requirement.
Applications had been received in the names of several students for Starter Awards for their work in robotics.
Members commented that the applications had not been made by the individuals, but that the school had prepared one application which had been photocopied for each applicant.
Each of these applicants had been involved in the project for two years and the Board felt that this made them ineligible to be considered as starters.
Applications for Improver Awards had also been received in the names of other students at the same school for the same project. These too used the same photocopied information which, (it was discovered on checking) with a couple of minor changes, were almost word for word the applications that had been submitted the previous year.
Members felt strongly that this did not meet the criteria for applications which should be made by individuals using their own words and explaining their particular needs and aspirations.
Whilst it was noted that awards had been made in the previous year for the photocopied applications, the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Awards scheme and criteria had changed since then and Members were therefore content that their decision was sound.
Members RESOLVED that the applications as detailed above should be REFUSED.
Members also asked for the website to emphasise that applicants must:
1. Match the criteria for the level of award.
2. Complete their own individual application form. Bulk non-individual applications would not be considered.
3. Complete the application form in full and not just mark it “refer to attached”. Supplementary documents would be accepted in addition to the form, not in lieu of.
Afolabi Opeoluwa applied for an award for £300 to support him in his sport of Basketball. Amongst his personal achievement were Most Valuable Player 2015 for his team and Junior Colour Award 2015 for his school.
Charlotte Cox applied for an award for £300 to support her in her sport of Netball. Amongst her personal achievements was Player of the Year Award.
Ellen Day applied for an award for £300 to support her in her sport of Football. Amongst her achievements were a Centre of Excellence place for five consecutive seasons and completing a junior football leaders course.. Ellen also volunteered at Pegasus Football Club helping to coach girls football.
Calvin de Villiers applied for an award for £300 to support his sport of athletics. Amongst his achievements were Gold and Silver medals in disability athletics ... view the full minutes text for item 7.
SUCH OTHER BUSINESS AS, IN THE OPINION OF THE CHAIRMAN, IS OF SUFFICIENT URGENCY TO WARRANT IMMEDIATE CONSIDERATION:
Members received an update from the Head of Resources which informed them that representations had been made by organisations that had applied for Annual Grants and had received a reduction in the grant awarded.
In respect of Age UK, meetings had been held with the County Council who had stepped in to cover some of the shortfall as Adult Social Care is one of their responsibilities.
Requests had been made by Citizens Advice Bureau and Community and Voluntary Service for long term agreements which officers did not think it unreasonable to consider.
Members commented that for some time the organisations that applied for Annual Grants had been the same ones each year, to the point where it was almost expected that their applications would be agreed “as of right”. However, they recognised that some of the recipients of bigger amounts of money might feel the effects of withdrawal of funds more acutely than others and they could see the benefit of having some sort of agreement which would provide a grant for a two or three year period, as long as the funding was made available from budget.
There would hopefully still be funds available for other annual grant applications that were received.
Members agreed that a working group should be formed to consider this more fully and to make recommendations on which organisations whose work complemented that of Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council, should be offered a longer term agreement and which should submit an annual application in the usual way.
RESOLVED to form a working group early in the next municipal year to consider this topic.
EXCLUSION OF PRESS AND PUBLIC
The Board/Committee is asked to resolve:
That under Section 100(A)(2) and (4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the press and public be now excluded from the meeting for Items 10 and 11 on the grounds that it involves the likely disclosure of confidential or exempt information as defined in Section 100(A)(3) and Paragraph 3 (private financial or business information) of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the said Act (as amended).
In resolving to exclude the public in respect of the exempt information, it is considered that the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information.
COMMUNITY GRANT APPLICATIONS - MARCH 2016
Exempt application forms for Community Grants March 2016.
QUEEN'S DIAMOND JUBILEE AWARDS 2016
Exempt application forms for Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Awards 2016.