21st September 2020 Finance & Resources Report 7.

Purpose of Report

To review the rapid Covid grant and agree any amendments

Background

On the 27th April the F& R committee agreed the rapid Covid grants process under delegated authority 17/20/F&R.

The amounts awarded up until the 7th September 2020:

£500.00           –           Highbridge and Burnham Covid 19 Group

£632.50           –           Morland Hall

£500.00           –           Marie Curie

£2,000.00        –           Somewhere House

£3,362.50        –           Total

The total amount set aside for the winter rapid Covid grant is £3,000. The previous rapid Covid grant did not have a set limit and was reviewed regularly to ensure that the grants budget was not exceeded. The application process had two options to apply up to £500 or up to £2,000.

The use of online application forms allowed a rapid completion and response, but still successfully covered the information we are required to request.  

There were two options to apply, either a small grant of less than £500, or larger grants to £2,000. It was agreed that we must set values to both spread the benefit and still make the value significantly useful.

There are currently two application forms; one requiring more detailed than the other to reflect the increased amounts. The application for small grants is less involved than that for larger grants.

All applications received are initially assessed (by RFO), to ensure they meet the criteria, then they are sent to the Town Clerk so that she can seek all councillors’ input. As speed of response has been important, comments that aren’t forthcoming have not been chased and we have used the delegation authority agreed under 48/20/TC to make payments.

Financial implications

£3,000.00 winter rapid grants budget

Options/Recommendations

  • As the amount set for the winter Rapid Covid Grants is a total of £3,000, the Council might want to reduce the options and only invite applications for the lower amount of £500. This will enable the relatively small rapid grant pot of £3,000 to be spread across more groups, with the aim of bringing a wider benefit. It is proposed that only one application per group within a 2-month period is permitted, unless expressly agreed otherwise by the council (through the existing delegated process).
  • It is suggested that this grant scheme is in place from 1st October – 15th March (or earlier if the budget is all allocated prior to the end date).  
  • Any funds remaining from the usual grants process, as agreed on 21st September, might be added to the winter Rapid COVID Grants.

Report author:          Sally Jones

Report Date:               9th September 2020

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