Issue - meetings

Grant Allocations to Community and Voluntary Organisations 2015/2016

Meeting: 07/09/2017 - Scrutiny Committee (Item 30)

30 Grant Allocations 2016/17 Monitoring Report pdf icon PDF 121 KB

 

Background Information

The Scrutiny Committee has asked for this item to be included on the agenda for pre-decision scrutiny.

Why is it on the agenda?

The City Executive Board on 19 September 2017 will be asked to note the results of the grant monitoring and the positive impact the community and voluntary sector is making in the city. This is an opportunity for the Scrutiny Committee to make recommendations to the City Executive Board.

Who has been invited to comment?

·         Councillor Dee Sinclair, Board Member for Culture and Communities;

·         Julia Tomkins, Grant Officer.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The City Executive Board on 19 September 2017 would be asked to note the results of the grant monitoring and the positive impact the community and voluntary sector is making in the city. This item provided an  opportunity for the Scrutiny Committee to make recommendations to the City Executive Board.

 

The Executive Board Member for Culture and Communities introduced the report. That the Council was able to support so many groups and organisations to the tune of almost £1.5m was most welcome, a view shared by the Committee. The support offered to smaller groups was particularly appreciated by them. It was noteworthy that a significant proportion of the grants was directed to support those members of the community facing financial difficulties and or who were homeless.

 

Azul Strong, Community Officer, attending the meeting on behalf of Julia Tomkins, drew attention to some of the key elements of the report including the additional amounts matched or levered into the community for every £1 in each category of grant.

 

The report’s principal purpose was to report back on the programme for 2016/17. Many of the matters raised and recommendations related to the future programme and reporting of it. This would be the subject of a future report to the committee in October. The Committee agreed therefore to hold back on making recommendations that didn’t directly relate to monitoring.

 

In a detailed discussion the following points and recommendations were considered..

 

·         It was noted that the data in the report relied to a significant extent on self-assessment by those in receipt of grants and should, therefore, be treated with a little caution (notwithstanding the evidently overall positive picture).

 

·         Some grants were used to commission services rather than simply providing support to organisations; there may be merit in distinguishing between the two

 

·         The BME community represented a significant proportion of the City’s population. There was concern that the support offered to this community, via the grants programme, was not proportionate.

 

·         While there was a proper focus on priority (geographical) areas, it should be recognised that there were some areas of great need within areas not considered to be a priority.

 

Recommendations

 

·         Annual grants inevitably led to constant uncertainty about whether or not there would be subsequent renewal (and therefore uncertainty for staff). More consideration should be given to grants over a longer term (eg 3 years) or ‘rolling’ renewal over 2 years.

 

·         OCVA was funded to provide support to groups and individuals, closer scrutiny of how those funds were deployed would be desirable to ensure that it was supporting  the needs of the wider community.and helping to overcome barriers faced by excluded groups.

 

·         There would be merit in arranging workshops in Community Centres and engaging with Parish Councillors to draw communities’ attention to the opportunity of applying for grants and give advice about how to do so.

 

·         The unit cost of a grant (ie grant divided by the number of beneficiaries) would be a helpful additional indicator of a grant’s efficacy.

 

·         The  ...  view the full minutes text for item 30


Meeting: 14/07/2016 - City Executive Board (became Cabinet on 13 May 2019) (Item 31)

31 Monitoring the Grant Allocations to Community & Voluntary Organisations - Reported achievements 2015/2016 pdf icon PDF 127 KB

The Head of Community Services has submitted a report to inform members of the monitoring findings of the 2015/16 grants programme.

 

Recommendations: That the City Executive Board resolves to:

 

1             Note the results of the grant monitoring, the positive impact the community and voluntary sector is making in the city.

 

2             Work with partners to understand the issues facing the community and voluntary sector in greater depth so we are better able to target our support where it is most needed and will have the greatest impact.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Head of Community Services submitted a report that informed members of the monitoring findings of the 2015/16 grants programme.

 

Cllr Simm, Board Member for Culture and Communities presented the report.  She explained that we currently have an increased demand for community grants but a shrinking grants budget. People are aware that there is less money available and are collaborating ie joint bidding. She said that people in Oxford were very good at responding to need and there were lots of people across the city wanting to help which the Council needed to support.

 

The social and economic geography of Oxford is changing  with the County Council cutting services ie children centres closing have increased need in that area.

 

Cllr Simms explained that recommendation 2 was aspiration at the moment but officers are doing a lot of partnership work. However we need to get more strategic about it.

 

Cllr Brown asked what would be the impact on the city of lost EU funding?  The Board agreed the need to record the organisations who receive EU funding and to remind the government of their promise to maintain funding.

 

Cllr Tanner said it was important for Oxford to retain its international links and money should be put into twining associations and European groups. The Council should look at creating an Eastern European twin.

Cllr Simm replied that the Communities team was actively engaging with the polish community and making sure they had the services they need.

 

The City Executive Board resolves to:

 

1.    NOTE the results of the grant monitoring, the positive impact the community and voluntary sector is making in the city.

 

2.    WORK with partners to understand the issues facing the community and voluntary sector in greater depth so we are better able to target our support where it is most needed and will have the greatest impact.


Meeting: 02/04/2015 - City Executive Board (became Cabinet on 13 May 2019) (Item 167)

167 Grant Allocation to South Oxford Adventure Playground pdf icon PDF 89 KB

The Head of Leisure, Parks and Communities has submitted a report which seeks an increase of £2,500 to the 2015/2016 community and voluntary organisations (CVO’s) grant programme.

 

Officer Recommendations: That The City Executive Board approve an additional allocation of £2,500 to the community and voluntary organisations grant programme to increase the grant awarded to South Oxford Adventure Playground.

Minutes:

The Head of Leisure, Parks and Communities submitted a report (previously circulated now appended) which sought an increase of £2,500 to the 2015/2016 community and voluntary organisations (CVOs) grant programme.

 

Cllr Rowley, Board Member for Leisure Contract and Community Partnership Grants presented the report. He apologised to the Grants officer for the need for the second report.

 

Cllr Fooks queried why the proposed grant increase had not been mentioned in the previous minutes. The Chief Executive explained that the minutes were a comprehensive record not a verbatim record of the meeting.

 

The Chief Executive explained that he had asked for an internal review of the grants process to take place, the findings will be reported to the Board in due course.

 

The City Executive Board resolved to APPROVE an additional allocation of £2,500 to the CVO’s grant programme to increase the grant awarded to South Oxford Adventure Playground.


Meeting: 12/02/2015 - City Executive Board (became Cabinet on 13 May 2019) (Item 136)

136 Grant Allocations to Community and Voluntary Organisations 2015/2016 pdf icon PDF 109 KB

The Head of Leisure, Parks and Communities has submitted a report which details the proposed allocation of grants to community & voluntary organisations for 2015/16 through the Community Grants Programme.

 

Officer Recommendations: That the City Executive Board

Subject to Council subsequently agreeing the grants budget as set out in Table 1

 

1. Approve the recommendations for the three year commissioning programme as listed in Appendix one.

 

2. Approve the recommendations for the applications received to the grants annual open bidding programme as set out in Appendix three.

 

3. Approve the recommendation for Oxford Friend to be funded through the Community Safety commissioning theme.

 

4. Approve the recommendation to delegate authority to 2 Councillors and the Head of Service for Customer Services to approve proposals for the unallocated funding (£20,000) in the Advice and Money Management commissioning theme.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Head of Leisure, Parks and Communities submitted a report (previously circulated, now appended) which detailed the proposed allocation of grants to community & voluntary organisations for 2015/16 through the Community Grants Programme.

 

Cllr Rowley, Board member for Leisure Contract and Community Partnership Grants presented the report. He said he was keen for officers to work with the Cutteslowe Community Association (CCA) to make their holiday scheme sustainable.

 

Shirley McCleery, Chair of the Cutteslowe Community Association (CCA) spoke on the CCA only receiving 25% of the grant it had requested to run a children’s holiday programme. She was concerned there had been an error in calculating the cost per head and that the fees the children pay hadn’t been taken off the overall cost. This had made the total figure per head significantly more expensive than it actually was.

 

Cllr Price said that the Council would review its decision and would get back to the CCA.

 

Subject to Council subsequently agreeing the grants budget as set out in Table 1, the City Executive Board resolved to:

 

1. APPROVE the recommendations for the three year commissioning programme as listed in Appendix one, with the addition of reviewing the Cutteslowe Community Association grant.

 

2. APPROVE the recommendations for the applications received to the grants annual open bidding programme as set out in Appendix three.

 

3. APPROVE the recommendation for Oxford Friend to be funded through the Community Safety commissioning theme.

 

4. DELEGATE authority to the Board member for Leisure Contract and Community Partnership Grants in consultation with the Board member for Customer Services and Social Inclusion and the Head of Customer Services to approve proposals for the unallocated funding (£20,000) in the Advice and Money Management commissioning theme.

 


Meeting: 03/02/2015 - Scrutiny Committee (Item 83)

83 Grant Allocations to Community and Voluntary Organisations 2015/16 pdf icon PDF 109 KB

Background Information

 

The City Council allocates grants to community and voluntary grants each year. 

 

Why is it on the agenda?

 

The Scrutiny Committee agreed to pre-scrutinise this decision at its meeting on 8 December 2014.

 

Who has been invited to comment?

 

Julia Tomkins has been invited to present this item.

 

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Cllr Hollick left the room.

 

The Grants and External Funding Officer presented the report.

 

Cllr Rowley, Board Member for Leisure Contract and Community Partnership Grants said he had met with the Credit Union to expand their services.

 

The Chair asked the committee whether they had questions why organisations hadn’t received funding.

 

Cllr Fooks queried why Cutteslowe Community Association has only received a quarter of their requested £10,000. The Grants Officers explained that the scheme appeared overly expensive and that other holiday programmes had been delivered for much less.

 

The committee made the following comments:

No applications had been received from Asian organisations, officers explained that the grants scheme had been widely publicised and two grant writing workshops were run to help groups apply. The open bidding grants programme and the workshops were promoted by OCVA to all of the groups on their database through their monthly funding newsletter and training updates, they were also advertised and promoted on the Council website and by word of mouth.

There is a belief amongst Asian organisations that because they have not been successful in previous years that they would not get a grant.  Officers agreed that more work needed to be done to break down this misconception. Concern over why world class organisations had to compete with groups focused on alleviating poverty. Would it be better to have different grants for these groups?

Grants to community newspapers are reducing every year as the newspapers become more sustainable. This is still a few years away, but it is likely future recommendations will be to reduce grant funding as the newspapers become more sustainable.

The Council has limited amounts of funding available, the policy is not to fund activities which are the responsibility of other public bodies eg the Listening centre should seek funding from the NHS.

 

Scrutiny recommendations

That CEB consider re-categorising the grants scheme into different components – organisations that have a worldwide reputation and organisations that alleviate deprivation/ build social inclusion.

Interest in why Cutteslowe Community Association was not given their full funding request.

The focus should be on capacity building and sustainability rather than just giving money.

 

Officers to relay the concerns expressed by Members to OCVA.