6th July 2020 Finance & Resources Report 5.3

Report for councillors:                 To consider changes that could be implemented when agreeing grants

Issued to:                                         Finance and Resources Meeting 6th July 2020

Purpose of Report

To share ideas that could be taken into consideration when agreeing grants

Background

The Town Council had agreed that this year 2020/2021 there would be £35,000 available to award in grants, and out of that it has been agreed that £2,700 will go to the Citizens Advice Bureau, the total grants pot will therefore be £32,300.

Changes to the grant process have been mooted by Councillors but nothing has been formally proposed. I have researched other Council grant processes to provide some suggestions.

The Town Council may want to consider some or all of the points when looking at the grant applications at the next grant meetings.

As per the Corporate plan pillar 2 under Culture and Community, the Town Council is committed to supporting a year-round programme of cultural events throughout Burnham and Highbridge, providing improved infrastructure where possible that will benefit the towns and its residents. And in section 2.3 the Town Council has confirmed that it is looking to continue to provide financial support to community events and organisations.

Policy implications

The grants policy could be changed to reflect the decisions made

Options that could be implemented when agreeing grants:

1) Cap the amount of the grant that the Town Council would give to any project:

Capping the maximum grant to a set amount, examples from other Councils:

Sedgemoor   £2,500

Frome             £2,000           

Bridgwater     £2,500

This would enable a greater number of groups to benefit from the fund, spreading the grant support more widely across the Towns.

2) Introducing a match funding a minimum requirement of funding injection from the group:

Sedgemoor

a)         75% of the total project cost for grants up to £500

b)         50% of the total project cost for grants up to £2500

This would demonstrate that the group is looking at all their options to obtain funding towards projects either from various grants sources, through fundraising or other funds.

3) Increasing the requirement for provision of accounts:

a)         A copy of the certified audited accounts for the last two years. In the case of smaller organisations, income and expenditure statements for the last two years certified by a qualified accountant may be submitted instead. Where such statements have not been certified, they must be signed by two persons from within the organisation who have been appointed to act as auditors.

4) Provision of a business plan when core costs are applied for:  

a)         A plan that sets out what activities the group has planned over the next three years and how they will be funded.

This would demonstrate to us how that the group is thinking about its future and how it will become sustainable in its own right.

b)        Core costs should only be applied for no more than once every three years.

This would ensure that groups are working towards being sustainable in their own right and not relying on grants to enable their activities or that they looking at other sources of funding.

5) Confirmation that the group holds the following as part of the application form:

a)         Adequate insurance for activities, events, staff, premises, equipment, vehicles:

Public liability

Employers’ liability cover if staff are employed

Property and equipment insurance against fire, theft, loss, damage

Insurance cover against cancellation of the event

b)         Disclosure and barring checks must be in place for anyone working with children and vulnerable adults

c)         That a safeguarding policy and/or child protection policy is in place

d)         That safeguarding training is in place for anyone working with vulnerable adults and young children

The meeting might want to use the above information to update its grants policy.

Report author: Sally Jones, Responsible Finance Officer        

Report Date: 29th June 2020

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