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Waverley Borough Council Committee System - Committee Document

Meeting of the Executive held on 27/03/2007
Community Partnerships Fund - Applications for 2007/08



APPENDIX D
Waverley Borough Council

Executive - 27TH MARCH 2007

Title:
COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIPS FUND – APPLICATIONS FOR 2007/08
[Wards Affected: All]

Summary and purpose:

The purpose of this report is to consider the applications submitted to the Community Partnerships Fund for 2007/08, including the Community Buildings Grant Scheme applications for 2007/08, and to recommend the level of grant for each organisation to the Council.

Environmental implications:

Many of the projects being considered for funding will result in improvements in the local environment. Some of the applications are for improved buildings and some are for outdoor equipment which will provide new and improved facilities for the community.

Social / community implications:

There are significant social and community benefits associated with this report. The applications to the Community Partnerships Fund are assessed according to the degree to which the project demonstrates community involvement, community benefit and community need. The projects being considered will benefit a large number of people and a wide range community groups.

E-Government implications:

There are no direct e-Government implications arising from this report. The Community Partnerships Fund application forms are available electronically by email and on the Council’s website.

Resource and legal implications:

The total Community Partnerships Fund allocation for 2007/08 is 300,000; of which 260,000 is available for the main bidding round and 40,000 is available for the small grants applications which are considered throughout the year. An unallocated balance of 33,254 has also been brought forward from the 2006/07 funding round. The total funding requested in the main bidding round for 2007/08 is 343,510. Members may wish to leave an amount aside again for urgent applications that arise during the year.

A total of 16 applications to the Community Partnerships Fund were received requesting grants of 269,368. A further three applications were received under the Community Buildings Grant Scheme for 2007/08 requesting grants totalling 38,842. In addition, Waverley’s commitment to funding the Sandy Hill Community Action Project and the Implementation of the Action Plan for the Cranleigh and Haslemere Healthchecks also needs to be met from the 260,000 available.

A list of all the applications is included at Annexe 1. For each application the total project costs and the grant requested are provided, together with the level of any grant recommended (high priority, medium priority or not recommended). To assist Members in considering the bids, applications are presented in the table by geographical area under the relevant Community Strategy theme to show how the projects contribute to the Strategy.

Background

1. Waverley’s Matched-Funding Provision was established in 1998 with the aim to ‘maximise the opportunities for generating funds from external sources both by proactively seeking partnerships with outside organisations and by reacting to requests from outside bodies’. A comprehensive review of the scheme was undertaken in 2003 to ensure that the grant scheme continues to meet the Council’s priorities and to reflect the new Community Strategy aims and action plan.

2. In 2006, the Community Overview and Scrutiny Committee agreed that an in-depth review of the Community Partnerships Fund criteria should be carried out. A Sub-Committee was established in the Autumn and the findings were endorsed by the Executive on 5th December 2006. 3. In December 2006 Members approved the criteria and timetable for the 2007/08 bidding round. The closing date for applications was 7th February 2007. Applicants will be notified the results after Council on 24th April 2007. Community Partnerships Fund Criteria 4. Officers have assessed each application against the approved grant criteria. Details of each application and a summary of the assessment are included in Annexe 2.

5. In carrying out their detailed review of the Community Partnerships Fund in the Autumn, the Sub-Committee considered the Community Partnerships Fund criteria, the process undertaken when assessing grant applications and carried out a comparison of Waverley’s scheme with other authorities. The Sub-Committee’s recommendations, endorsed by Executive, have been implemented in the 2007/08 bidding round.

6. In December, the Executive agreed to continue the Area Partnership Groups’ involvement in assisting with grant assessments in 2007/08. The Area Partnership Groups consist of representatives from Town and Parish Councils and voluntary organisations. Each group has considered the applications within their geographical area and provided an assessment based on local knowledge. The outcome of this assessment is included in the table attached at Annexe 1. The Area Partnership Groups completed full assessments of each application in their area and their reports can be sent to members on request.


7. Each application has been assessed on the degree to which the project meets the following key criteria:

PARTNERSHIP - The project has been developed in partnership with local communities and with appropriate local, regional or national organisations; COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT - The project demonstrates community participation and consultation to determine support for the project; COMMUNITY NEEDS - The project meets a clearly identified need within Waverley and will benefit Waverley residents; COMMUNITY BENEFIT - Projects that provide a clear community benefit particularly those that benefit communities in greatest need will be given priority; PARTNERSHIP FUNDING – the level of partnership funding from either local efforts, or regional or national grant-giving organisations will be considered; WAVERLEY’S PRIORITIES – Projects that meet Waverley’s priorities and Community Strategy objectives, including community and parish plans.

8. In December, the Executive agreed two priorities for the 2007/08 bidding round, namely:

projects which improve opportunities for children and younger people; and
projects which support and provide services and facilities which enable older people to live their lives to the full may be given priority over other types of projects. Members may also wish to consider the geographical spread of projects within Waverley, and the balance of different types of projects under each of the Community Strategy themes.

9. The approved criteria specifically states that ongoing running costs, such as salaries, insurance etc. are not eligible for grant from the Community Partnership Fund. However, where these costs are part of a one-off project, particularly projects that will bring long-term benefits to an organisation, the Council can consider awarding funding.

10. Only projects that fall within Waverley’s area of responsibility are eligible. Applications for projects within schools or churches can be eligible provided that there is a wider community benefit and involvement in the project.

Implementation of Action Plan for the Cranleigh and Haslemere Healthchecks

11. Waverley worked with the Cranleigh and Haslemere Initiatives in developing funding bids to the former Countryside Agency to undertake Market Town Healthchecks in each community. The Healthchecks and first stage of the implementation of the projects were supported through the Community Partnerships Fund in 2004/05 with a grant of 15,000.

12. The first phase of the implementation of the Action Plans concluded in March 2006. The second phase of the implementation started in the Spring of 2006 and the Co-ordinators’ posts were extended for a further two years in order to continue to deliver the Action Plan agreed as part of the Healthchecks.

13. The Council approved, on 25th October 2005, the continued employment of the two part-time Co-ordinators and approval was given for 15,000 (7,500 per annum towards the budgeted costs of 20,000 per annum for each post) to be allocated from the Community Partnerships Fund in 2006/07 and 2007/08. Officers are seeking matched-funding of the same value from Cranleigh Parish Council and Haslemere Town Council towards the posts.


Community Building Grants Scheme 14. The Council has previously participated in the Surrey-wide Community Buildings Grants Scheme and has administered applications received in accordance with Councils’ Community Partnerships Fund.

15. The Grant Scheme is based on funding for approved projects of one third from the Borough & District Councils, one-third from Surrey County Council and one-third from the organisation. The Grant Scheme is managed by the Village Halls Advisor at Surrey Community Action who undertakes the promotion of the Scheme and administers and assesses the applications for Surrey County Council. Copies of the application forms are supplied to the Borough and District Councils who undertake their own assessments and make recommendations to Surrey County Council in preparation for their consideration of all the applications within Surrey.

16. Three applications requesting funding in 2007/08 were received under the Community Buildings Grants Scheme. These have been assessed and the recommended grants are tabled in Annexe 1 for information. The Community Overview and Scrutiny Committee considered these Community Buildings Grants Scheme applications on 12th March 2007.

17. In addition to the three projects, Surrey Community Action has requested a contribution of 2,000 in 2007/08 towards the costs of 27,000 for the Village and Community Halls Adviser post. Surrey County Council will provide funding of 9,000 with a request of 2,000 from each Borough Council.

18. The loss of Countryside Agency grant has led to a deficit of 8,000 in the total budget for the post in 2007/08. Surrey County Council funding has decreased from 10,000 to 9,000 in 2007/08, therefore Surrey Community Action has requested all participating authorities increase their contributions from 1,000 to 2,000 in 2007/08.

19. In addition to administering the grant scheme, the post-holder also provides a number of key support services to Village Halls and Community Buildings in Waverley. The key benefits include:

Ongoing training and briefings to topical subjects to groups of village hall/community buildings management committee members/trustees;

One to one advice and support to individual halls via telephone and personal visits on issues such as legislation and regulations, recruiting committee members, finance and maintenance.

Funding Allocation

20. The total Community Partnerships Fund allocation for 2007/08 is 300,000 including Community Buildings Grants Schemes and 40,000 for the small grants scheme. In addition a balance of 33,254 is available from last year’s allocation which is explained below.

21. When the Council agreed the funding for the 2006/07 round, Members agreed to leave the unallocated balance of 33,254 to fund high priority projects that may emerge during 2006/07. No enquiries to support urgent projects were received during the year. However, Members did indicate that it would welcome an application from the Hambledon Football Club for their new changing room project, provided that certain additional information was provided. An application has now been received and officers have suggested that Members consider it alongside the main round for 2007/08 but have regard to the recognition given to this project previously.

22. The total Community Partnership funding requested by all the applicants is 269,368, with additional requests of 38,842 under the Community Buildings Grant Scheme. In addition, Waverley is committed to funding the Sandy Hill Community Action project and the Implementation of the Action Plans for the Cranleigh and Haslemere Healthchecks. The total funding requests for 2007/08 are 338,815 compared to a total amount available of 293,254.

23. It is recommended that all High Priority schemes are awarded funding in accordance with the schedule in Annexe 1. There are three applications where officers are recommending an award of grant, subject to further information being received.

24. In accordance with the current agreed practice, it is proposed to ring-fence any unallocated balance from the 2007/08 available amount for urgent high priority schemes that may emerge during the year.

25. A summary of the proposed funding allocations for 2007/08 is set out below:

      2007-08 Funding allocation for main bidding round
260,000
      Balance available from previous years
33,254
      Total funding available
293,254
      Implementation of the Action Plans for the Cranleigh and Haslemere Healthchecks
15,000
      Sandy Hill Community Action Project
14,460
      Total funding available after existing commitments
263,794
      Community Partnerships Fund - Officer
      Recommended High Priority projects (See Annexe 1)
166,640
      Community Buildings Grants (see Annexe 1)
33,842
      AMOUNT REMAINING FOR URGENT SCHEMES *
63,312
Timetable for Future Rounds

26. In future years, it is the intention for the date for the final award of Community Partnerships Fund grants to revert back to the February Executive and Council. This will enable Members to consider this alongside the overall capital programme and it will meet Surrey County Council’s timetable for the award of Community Buildings grants. Currently, Surrey County Council delay their timetable for Waverley’s approval date. Officers will reflect this in the draft timetable submitted to Members in the Autumn.

Overview and Scrutiny Committee Observations

27. The Community and Environment and Leisure Overview and Scrutiny Committees considered this report at their meetings in March and agreed to pass the following observations to the Executive:-

Community Overview and Scrutiny Committee

28. Members were reminded of the review undertaken last autumn by the Community Partnerships Fund Review Sub-Committee of the Grants Criteria and noted that the main conclusions and findings were included in the criteria for this bidding round. The Committee also noted the positive effect that funding had had on the applications within its remit, especially at Sandy Hill, Farnham.
Environment and Leisure Overview and Scrutiny Committee

29. With regard to Haslemere Museum, the Committee noted that an in-depth review was being undertaken and that it would be appropriate to give consideration to possible further funding of the Museum beyond the recommended sum once the review had been completed.

30. Members agreed to recommend to the Executive that it would be appropriate for the Community Partnership Fund criteria to be reviewed to look particularly at climate change and environmental issues. It was suggested that the Waste Management and Climate Change Special Interest Group could undertake this review.

Recommendation

That the Executive recommends to the Council that:

1. approval be given to the recommended high priority grants under the Community Partnerships Fund for 2007/08, as detailed in Annexe 1, totalling 196,100, subject to the conditions of grant being met by each applicant;

2. that the grants to the Hambledon Football Club, and Eashing Youffee be awarded, subject to the organisations identifying the a full range of matched-funding;

3. approval be given to the recommended grants under the Community Buildings Grant Scheme for 2007/08, as detailed in Annexe 1, totalling 33,842, including the 2,000 for the Village Halls Adviser, subject to the conditions of grant being met by each applicant;

4. the remaining balance of 63,312 for 2007/08 be ring-fenced for high priority schemes that may emerge during 2007-08.

Background Papers (DoF)

Community Partnerships Fund and Community Buildings Grant Scheme applications for 2007/08.

CONTACT OFFICER:

Name: Graeme Clark Telephone: 01483 523236

E-mail: grclark@waverley.gov.uk



Comms/exec/2006-07/324