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To confirm as a correct record the Minutes of the meeting held on 12 July 2017 (previously circulated).
The minutes of the meeting held on 12 July 2017 were agreed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.
NOTIFICATION OF URGENT BUSINESS TO BE CONSIDERED UNDER ITEM 7
The Chairman agreed to take the following item as urgent business due to timescales.
A review of the Grants procedures of allocation criteria and scoring mechanism to be undertaken before March 2018 meeting.
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.
Councillor J. Fitzpatrick declared that he no longer had a non-pecuniary interest with regard to Resolve due to having ceased to be an employee in the summer of 2016.
Councillor S. Glick declared a non-pecuniary interest with regard to Women’s Refuge item being considered due to being the Council's representative on the Board of Trustees at the Women's Refuge.
Report of the Executive Director (Housing and Communities) which provides Members with details of the Annual Community Grants (exempt Appendix A at Agenda item 9 in the Part II private and confidential section of the meeting).
Report of the Executive Director (Housing and Communities) setting out eight applications from Voluntary Organisations for Annual Community Grants.
It had been agreed in 2016/17 as part of the budget setting that for a three year period, the Citizens Advice Bureau would have a ring fenced budget of £95,000.
Members of the Grants Board had decided how the provisional grants budget of £103,270 plus £1000 underspend rolled forward from previous year’s budget would be allocated between the Annual Grants and Small Community Grants for 2018/19.
The report noted that of the 2018/19 budget for the Annual and Small Community Grants, once removing the ring fenced sum of £24,000 for the Small Grant Budget would leave an available budget of £80,270.
An application had been received for £10,000 for purchase of materials for schools and on living wage payments.
Members commented that there was lack of evidence and felt that it was not part of the school’s curriculum.
REFUSED the application.
Hatfield and District Age Concern Friendship House
An application had been received for £15,000 towards the Centre’s operating, maintenance and overhead costs especially salaries, food provision and utility costs.
Members considered that the service provided by this facility was excellent value for money.
AGREED a grant of £10,000.
Mind in Mid Herts
An application had been received for £26,245 to cover the salary costs of a part-time manager, part-time mental health out-reach worker and the Part-time Volunteer Co-ordinator. Also the training and travel costs associated with the project.
Whilst members were supportive of the work, a question was raised in respect of where the referrals were coming from. It was agreed that an update on the project be provided by March 2018 before funds are released.
AGREED a grant of £21,000.
The Recover Team Ltd
An application had been received for £22,000 to support the 10 new participants. The funding request represents a proportion of the running costs of the charity.
Members considered the positive project and commented that the charity provided help for people with poor self-esteem; a barrier to entering the job market.
AGREED a grant of £8,000.
An application had been received for the amount of £29,018 towards rent costs for their service based in Queensway House.
Members commented on the rent costs, surplus shown on the annual report and the alternative funding being sought.
AGREED a grant of £4,500.
Welwyn Hatfield Community and Voluntary Service
An application had been received for the amount of £12,900 to support the Community Car Scheme and the operation of the Volunteer Centre including a paid part-time co-ordinator.
Members knew of the work being carried out by community groups and individuals and supported the application. The Board agreed that the money should be ring fenced for the Car Scheme.
AGREED a grant of £4,700.
WGC and Hatfield Food Bank
An application had been received for the amount of £3,000 towards food purchases.
Members commented that it was the only food bank in the town centre and supported the ... view the full minutes text for item 10.
SUCH OTHER BUSINESS AS, IN THE OPINION OF THE CHAIRMAN, IS OF SUFFICIENT URGENCY TO WARRANT IMMEDIATE CONSIDERATION:
Members agreed that it was an opportune time to review the procedure for allocation of grants, as it was paramount that the process was transparent and fair. In assessing the grant applications it has been noted that there has been a decline in the levels of external funding some organisations were able to secure. This reflects the changing nature of voluntary sector funding, that of increased competition in the current financial climate.
The following points were raised and discussed:
· With funding being reduced each year there was a need to review the mechanism of awarding grants.
· Explore the potential for delivering a funding advice and/or receiving a presentation from the grant applicant.
· We should receive feedback from small grant receivers.
· Officers to produce a draft document for consideration.
· A task and finish group to be organised to consider the proposals for the forthcoming year. Two meetings of the group to be organised.
· Should a scoring system be considered?
A task and finish group be set up to consider the procedures for allocation of grants.