Councillor Robin Bennett declared an interest in this item as he was a trustee of the Berin Centre, which had been a beneficiary of the grants scheme previously. He left the meeting room during consideration of this item.
Cabinet considered the report of the head of policy and programmes. This set out options for revenue grant funding beyond the current financial year. The options were to:
B. extend the 2022-2024 revenue grant scheme for a further year (2024/25) to the current grant recipients.
C. review and update the 2022-2024 revenue grant policy, launching the scheme for new applications in late summer 2023 for two, three or four years of funding.
D. close the scheme
The Cabinet member for community wellbeing dismissed option A as this was not ideal financially. Option C did not allow sufficient time to review the scheme. Option D, to close the scheme, was considered inappropriate.
Instead, the Cabinet member recommended option B. This would allow time to update the current scheme policy to align with the new Corporate Plan. The new scheme could be launched to all Voluntary and Community Sector organisations in late summer 2024, with funding beginning in April 2025. Cabinet agreed, as members were keen to continue grant funding Voluntary and Community Sector organisations. This also gave the opportunity to consider aligning the scheme with the Vale of White Horse’s scheme.
Cabinet asked officers to consider the best method for the Voluntary and Community Sector organisations to provide feedback on their work.
RESOLVED: to agree to:
(a) extend the 2022-2024 Revenue Grant Scheme for a further year (2024/25) to the current grant recipients;
(b) update the current scheme policy to align with the new Corporate Plan;
(c) launch the new scheme to all Voluntary and Community Sector organisations in late summer 2024, with funding to begin in April 2025; and
(d) consider options for the Voluntary and Community Sector organisations that receive grant funding to brief members on their work.