Agenda and minutes

Cabinet
Thursday, 7 June 2018 6.00 pm

Venue: Meeting Room 1, 135 Eastern Avenue, Milton Park, Milton, OX14 4SB

Contact: Steve Culliford  Democratic Services Officer

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies for absence

Minutes:

Councillors Jane Murphy (Chairman) and Paul Harrison sent their apologies for absence.  Councillor Felix Bloomfield (Vice-Chairman) took the chair for this meeting. 

2.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 125 KB

To adopt and sign as correct records the minutes of the Cabinet meetings held on 20 March, 5 April and 10 May 2018. 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED: to approve the minutes of the Cabinet meetings held on 20 March, 5 April and 10 May 2018 as correct records and agree that the Chairman signs them as such. 

 

3.

Declaration of disclosable pecuniary interest

To receive any declarations of disclosable pecuniary interests in respect of items on the agenda for this meeting. 

Minutes:

Councillor David Turner, attending the meeting to ask questions of clarification on the proposed volunteering grant scheme (minute 6 refers), gave an example to illustrate a point, citing the Chalgrove and Watlington Children’s Centre.  He declared an interest as he was a member of the centre’s management committee. 

4.

Urgent business and chairman's announcements

To receive notification of any matters which the chairman determines should be considered as urgent business and the special circumstances which have made the matters urgent, and to receive any announcements from the chairman. 

Minutes:

None

5.

Public participation

To receive any questions or statements from members of the public that have registered to speak. 

Minutes:

None

6.

Proposed volunteering grant scheme one-year pilot pdf icon PDF 147 KB

To consider the report of the head of corporate services. 

Minutes:

Cabinet considered the report of the head of community services.  The Council had approved a budget of £25,000 for a pilot grant scheme to support some of the costs associated with volunteering.  Officers had drafted a policy to deliver the grant scheme.  The aim was to increase the number of people volunteering in the district by providing support to voluntary and community groups to help them find the volunteers they needed and provide vital services to residents.  The report sought approval for the policy and sought delegated authority to determine the grant applications. 

 

Councillor David Turner addressed Cabinet, welcoming the volunteering grant scheme and asked the following questions of clarification.  The Cabinet member for community services responded to each question:

 

Q1.   Given that Council approved the budget growth of £25,000 for the 2017/18 financial year, why did the council not produce the report in that period and start the grant scheme? 

A.        Recruitment of a qualified member of staff took longer than expected, contributing to the scheme’s introduction being delayed. 

 

Q2.   Has the council considered sending details of the applications to parish and town councils as an extra local validity check against the policy criteria? 

A.        Parish councils were involved in early formulation of the grant scheme.  However, an extra validity check by this council’s ward member would be beneficial in cases where the officers needed clarification.  Ward members’ responses must be fact-based, not subjective. 

 

Q3.   How many applications are we expecting to receive?  We are proposing to eligibility check one fifth of what number? 

A.        No predictions had been made on the number of applications expected but the operation of the scheme would be reviewed after four months to ensure its effectiveness. 

 

Q4.   Can children's centres apply?  The criteria referred to other authorities’ statutory duties being ineligible for a grant under this scheme but children's centres are not a statutory duty of the county council.  (Councillor Turner gave an example of the Chalgrove and Watlington Children’s Centre and declared an interest as he was a member of its management committee.) 

A.        Children’s centres that are not run by the county council could be eligible to apply, providing they meet the other criteria. 

 

Q5.   If the organisation is eligible, can it apply for a grant for an existing volunteer as well as new volunteers? 

A.        The aim of the scheme is to increase volunteering.  An organisation could apply for support to increase the hours of existing volunteers. 

 

Q6.   The report refers to the mapping of applicants to ensure a fair geographical spread.  Does this mean we will not be operating a ‘first come, first served’ approach?  If not, how will this be administered without delaying eligible applications? 

A.        Grants would not be awarded on a ‘first come, first served’ approach.  Instead, applications would be determined in several rounds during the year, with each application being determined on its merits. 

 

The Cabinet member for community services introduced the report and confirmed that the application process would seek confirmation that the funds  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.