Agenda and minutes

Grants Board - Wednesday 21st June 2023 7.30 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, Council Offices, The Campus, Welwyn Garden City, Herts, AL8 6AE

Contact: Democratic Services 

No. Item

At the beginning of the meeting the Executive Director (Place) gave a short presentation on what the Grants Board was having previously awarded the Council’s small community grants programme and making recommendations to Cabinet on the award of Annual Grants and setting the criteria for Annual Grants.  Going forward, the Board will oversee the Community Lottery, including setting the criteria for good causes, as well as continuing to oversee Annual Grants. The format of the meeting was also covered.



To note any substitution of Board Members made in accordance with Council Procedure Rules.


The following substitution of a Committee Members had been made in accordance with Council Procedure Rules:


Councillor P. Smith for Councillor B. Sarson



To note any apologies.


Apologies for absence were received from Councillors J.P. Skoczylas and B. Sarson.



To confirm as a correct record the Minutes of the meeting held on 8 February 2023 (previously circulated).


The Minutes of the meeting held on 8 February 2023 were agreed as a correct record and noted by the Chair.



Members to receive presentation from the Assistant Director (Leisure, Community and Cultural Services) on the Community Lottery.


Members received a presentation from the Assistant Director (Leisure, Community and Cultural Services) on the Community Lottery.


The Community Lottery will be replacing the Small community grants and was agreed at Cabinet in February 2023.


It was noted a tender was carried out in 2022/23 for a community lottery operator.


The Council applied for and successfully obtained a Gambling Licence in May 2023.


The Council has partnered with Gatherwell to deliver the One Welwyn Hatfield

Community Lottery.


The aims of the Lottery are:


·       Delivering the proceeds locally – a Welwyn Hatfield Community Lottery would deliver benefits to local causes only i.e. players can be assured that the proceeds will stay within Welwyn Hatfield borough.


·       Maximising benefits to the community – to bolster support and to help in continuing the good work that the Council already does. 60% of proceeds will go to good local causes.


·       Delivering winners locally – whilst anyone could play, it is likely that players will be locally based, and hence it will be easier to maximise the value from winners’ stories and encourage more participation.


Members were shown the proposed eligibility criteria for the community lottery and what the council will not fund.


Members were shown how the lottery worked for supporters and how the lottery worked for the good causes.


The tickets for the lottery cost just £1 a week. Each ticket has a 1 in 50 chance to win a prize each week, with a top prize of £25,000.


Each ticket has six numbers and each number is between 0 and 9. There will be a draw every Saturday night when a six digit winning combination will be picked. Prizes will be given to players with tickets that match the first or last 2 to 6 numbers from the winning combination. Match all six and organisations can win the jackpot.


The role of the Grants Board would be to agree the Eligibility Criteria for good causes, receive updates on good causes that have registered and receive quarterly reports on the scheme.


The following points were noted:


·       Members asked in regards to the good causes, what support will the council give to them?  Officers stated that the council would providing the platform and supporting in the background, promoting the good causes but will not be promoting each one individually. The council will promote the community lottery as a whole. The community partnerships team will be managing the lottery. It was noted Gatherwell will manage the lottery.

·       Members were concerned that some of the small causes may not be able to promote themselves, for example the Welwyn Hatfield Womens Refuge.  Officers stated that conditions could be added such as only limiting the turnover of organisations that are eligible but this could be legally challenged.

·       Members were concerned about some of the smaller causes who do not have the reach or community presence like bigger organisations and wanted there to be a priority to help the smaller organisations. 

·       Members asked if East Herts Council had any issues  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.



Members to receive presentation from the Assistant Director (Leisure, Community and Cultural Services) on the Annual Grants.


Members received a presentation from the Assistant Director (Leisure, Community and Cultural Services) on the Annual Grants.


The Annual Grants were due to open on Monday 31 July 2023 and close on Sunday1 October 2023.


There will be a pre grants board meeting with Chair and Vice chair of the grants board to answer any queries and questions.


Grants Board receive the applications and agree the awards in November. Welwyn Hatfield Annual Community Grants are available to specific organisations to help fund core running costs of the project.


The Community Grant funding is for projects that make a positive impact on the community.


Organisations can apply for grant funding of up to £20,000. Funding applications over £20,000 will only be granted in exceptional circumstances and for those organisations who have been affected negatively by Covid-19.


Members were shown the current eligibility criteria for annual grants.


Applications must demonstrate a positive contribution to one or more of Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council’s priorities. This works well in ensuring a central thread runs through our purpose. These are:

·       Attractive and accessible green spaces

·       Evolving, vibrant town centres and a growing economy

·       Quality homes through managed growth

·       A sense of community where people feel safe

·       A well-run Council which puts our customers first


The criteria has remained the same for a long period of time.


It is known that some organisations have received funding year on year from the annual grants fund.


Some of these organisations also receive other grant funding from the Council.

Some smaller organisations do not want to apply for the larger funding pots as they think they will not be successful.


As a new Grants Board there is an opportunity to review the criteria to enable more organisations to benefit.


Implementation will then be applied to the Annual Grants applications that open at end of July.


Some suggestions for discussion:

·       Reduce the maximum grant from £20k to £10k per application

·       Reduce the % payable for workforce salaries from 99% to 50%

·       Introduce a 12 month wait between successive funding bids

·       Ringfence an allocation (£10k) to introduce a smaller grants pot of a maximum £500.00 to enable start up activity or to assist with administration i.e opening bank accounts etc


The following points were noted:


·       Members did not want to reduce the funding to £10,000 but wanted to give the funding to areas where it makes maximum use.

·       It was noted the overall pot of money for annual grants was £73,000.  Members asked if they could increase the amount as the costs for running charities are increasing.   Officers would look into it.

·       It was noted that the reason for the meeting was to have a discussion about the criteria and possibly making changes to it.

·       Members were worried about reducing the workforce salary to 50%.

·       Members stated in regards to ‘Introduce a 12 month wait between successive funding bids’, could the council possibly change it to “If you are successful you will be a lower priority next year”.

·       In regards to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.