Decision Maker: Cabinet
Decision status: For Determination
Is Key decision?: Yes
Is subject to call in?: Yes
Purpose: to approve a policy for a new councillors’ grants scheme
Cabinet considered the head of corporate strategy’s report on a new scheme to allow individual councillors to award grants. This followed the Council decision in February 2017 to approve a budget for this grant scheme. The report set out a policy for Cabinet’s approval.
Scrutiny Committee had considered the draft policy at its meeting on 4 April 2017 and welcomed the proposed scheme but recommended that the policy was amended to:
1. delete ‘community festivals and events’ from the list of projects/services which could not be funded, and
2. include a deadline or a number of deadlines for submitting applications, rather than limiting applications to a set period during the year.
Councillor David Turner addressed Cabinet, welcomed the new grant scheme but asked Cabinet to consider introducing deadlines to avoid the situation where councillors allocated funds early in the year and had insufficient funds for applications received at a later date.
The Cabinet member with responsibility for grants, Councillor Elizabeth Gillespie, reported that Council had allocated a budget for these grants for one year, the intention being to pilot the scheme in 2017/18 before evaluating its outcomes. Councillor Gillespie had weighed up the advantages and disadvantages of Scrutiny Committee’s suggestions and recommended that community festivals and events should be included in the list of projects that councillors should be able to fund. However, Councillor Gillespie recommended that setting a deadline for councillors would be too restrictive and the scheme should leave it open to councillors to decide which applications were most deserving of a grant. This could be reviewed at the end of the pilot year.
Cabinet concurred with this recommendation. The policy would allow the council to pilot the scheme for each councillor to award up to £5,000 to fund community projects benefitting their ward. However, it was considered important that each councillor must attend training on the scheme before allocating any grants.
(a) approve the individual councillor grant policy, attached at appendix one to the head of corporate strategy’s report to Cabinet on 6 April 2017, subject to amending the policy to allow community festivals and events to be funded; and
(b) authorise the head of service with responsibility for grants to release payments of up to £5,000 in accordance with the ward councillor’s decision.
Report author: Jayne Bolton
Publication date: 18/04/2017
Date of decision: 06/04/2017
Decided at meeting: 06/04/2017 - Cabinet
Effective from: 14/04/2017