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Waverley Borough Council Committee System - Committee Document

Meeting of the Executive held on 04/10/2004
SPONSORED ORGANISATION SCHEME 2005/06
GRANT ELIGIBILITY, CRITERIA AND TIMETABLE



Summary & Purpose
The purpose of this report which has already been considered by the Community Overview and Scrutiny Committee is to consider the grant eligibility, criteria and timetable for assessing applications to the Sponsored Organisation Scheme in 2005/06.

Quality of Life Implications
Natural Resource Use
Pollution Prevention and Control
Biodiversity and Nature
Local Environment
Social Inclusion
Safe Communities
Local Economy
Natural
Resource Use
Pollution
Prevention and Control
Biodiversity
and Nature
Local
Environment
Social
Inclusion
Safe, Healthy
and Active
Communities
Local
Economy
N/A
N/A
N/A
Positive
Positive
Positive
Positive


APPENDIX L
WAVERLEY BOROUGH COUNCIL

EXECUTIVE – 4TH OCTOBER 2004

REFERRED ITEM FROM COMMUNITY OVERVIEW AND SCRUTINY COMMITTEE
_________________________________________________________________________
Title:
SPONSORED ORGANISATION SCHEME 2005/06
GRANT ELIGIBILITY, CRITERIA AND TIMETABLE
[Wards Affected: All]
_________________________________________________________________________
Summary and purpose:

The purpose of this report which has already been considered by the Community Overview and Scrutiny Committee is to consider the grant eligibility, criteria and timetable for assessing applications to the Sponsored Organisation Scheme in 2005/06.

Members of the Environment and Leisure and Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committees have received this report and were invited to attend the meeting of the Community Overview and Scrutiny Committee and speak.
_________________________________________________________________________
Quality of life implications – social, environmental & economic (sustainable development):

Natural Resource Use
Pollution Prevention and Control
Biodiversity and Nature
Local Environment
Social Inclusion
Safe, Healthy and Active Communities
Local Economy
N/A
N/A
N/A
POSITIVE
POSITIVE
POSITIVE
POSITIVE

E-Government implications:

There are no direct E-Government implications arising from this report. Sponsored Organisation Scheme application forms and guidance notes are available electronically by email.

Resource and legal implications:

In the first four years of operation, the total Sponsored Organisation Scheme funding awarded was as follows:

Number of
Organisations
Awarded
Total SOS Funding Awarded
2001/02
36
539,471
2002/03
39
548,250
2003/04
44
599,465
(included a percentage increase for inflation)
2004/05
41
599,465
+ 6,000 to Farnham CAB for 2004/05 ONLY
TOTAL
_______
605,465



The organisations receiving awards listed by geographical area are detailed in Annexe 1.

This funding is not held within a central grant fund but within each of the different service areas of Waverley’s budget.
Considering the current constraints on Waverley’s budget for 2005/06, a number of options are available in preparing the Sponsored Organisation Scheme for the 2005/06 application round.

1. The level of funding for sponsored organisations remains the same as the last two years at 599,465, although an additional 6,000 was included for Farnham CAB increased rent for Montrose House for 2004/05 only. The total does not allow for any increase in inflation for existing organisations and the consequences of awarding funding to any new organisations the Council may wish to support, would mean a reduction in funding for one or more existing sponsored organisations; 2. The level of funding for sponsored organisations is reduced to reflect Waverley’s current budgetary constraints. A reduction in the overall budget for sponsored organisations will result in a reduced level of service provision. To assess the impact on services, existing sponsored organisations would be asked to state in their application what the direct effect on service provision would be with a) a 10% reduction in grant; or b) no grant being awarded; q The level of funding is increased in-line with inflation and to allow any new organisations to apply to the scheme;

In addition to the options above, if Waverley contributed the proposed 47,500 from the Sponsored Organisation Scheme to the Waverley Partnership Board (as detailed in the separate report titled ‘Waverley Partnership Funding Board’) there would be an overall increase of 97,500 revenue funds available to social/welfare organisations in Waverley.

The application timetable, as detailed in paragraphs 11-13 will enable the Sponsored Organisation Scheme applications to be considered as part of the budget process.
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Background

1. In December 1999, the Council approved the introduction of a Sponsored Organisation Scheme to formalise the revenue support to community and voluntary organisations in Waverley. The former Policy and Resources Committee agreed the details of the scheme on 4th July 2000.

2. The principal aim of the Sponsored Organisation Scheme is to provide financial support ‘for the ongoing revenue costs of voluntary and charitable organisations that are delivering high priority services for the benefit of Waverley residents in partnership with the Council’.

3. Applications from eligible organisations are made in two stages. Initially, each organisation applies to become a Sponsored Organisation, which recognises their role in providing services in partnership with Waverley. At the next stage, each approved Sponsored Organisation then makes an annual application for funding.

4. The scheme is reviewed annually to ensure that the grant criteria and assessment processes continue to meet the priorities of the Council. Following the annual review, the grant eligibility, criteria and timetable are considered by the Overview and Scrutiny Committee and the Executive prior to opening each year’s bidding round.

5. Following the review of the scheme in 2003, the Council approved three-year intention-to-fund agreements for Sponsored Organisations with approved grants of 10,000 and above. This is based on a one year approved funding for 2004/05 with two further years intention-to-fund for 2005/06 & 2006/07, dependent on sufficient budget being available and subject to an annual appraisal of the organisation’s performance and an up-date of its financial status.

6. This report considers the grant eligibility, criteria and timetable for the Sponsored Organisation Scheme in 2005/06, taking into consideration the proposal for increasing the funds available to the voluntary sector in Waverley by contributing to the Waverley Partnership Funding Board (as detailed in the previous report - ‘Waverley Partnership Funding Board’).

Eligibility and Criteria

7. The proposed eligibility and criteria for organisations wishing to be considered for funding are set out in the application guidance at Annexe 2. Waverley’s cross-departmental group of link-officers for the scheme has reviewed the current aims, eligibility and criteria. Proposed changes are highlighted in bold in the application guidance.

8. The changes include the following:

q Social/Welfare Organisations q Financial Reserves q Funding Priorities
Assessments

9. Each application is thoroughly assessed and scored against the grant criteria. The proposed grant criteria for 2005/06 are detailed in Annexe 2. Officers within each of the relevant service departments undertake the application assessments. In addition, a financial assessment of each organisation’s annual accounts is undertaken by Waverley’s accountants.

10. The service officers when making funding recommendations take the results from the financial assessments into account. Service officers use a standard assessment form to ensure equity in assessing each application. A copy is attached at Annexe 3.

Timetable

11. It is proposed that applications are invited to apply for SOS funding for the financial year 2005/06, following the Executive’s approval of the grant eligibility and criteria on 4th October 2004. The proposed closing date for applications is Monday, 8th November 2004. A seminar to provide information and support to applicants will be held in October 2004.

12 Applications will be assessed and scored against the SOS eligibility and criteria between 15th November and 3rd December. These assessments will be undertaken by officers within each of the relevant service departments and by Waverley accountants.

13. Applications and assessment results will be considered by the Chief Officers Group on 15th December 2004, by the Overview and Scrutiny Committees in January 2005 and by the Executive at the budget meeting on 7th February 2005. Applicants will be notified the outcome of their applications in writing after Council on 22nd February 2005. A summary of the timetable is provided at Annexe 4.

Partnership Agreements

14. Once an SOS grant is approved and a grant offer made, a partnership agreement is prepared by each organisation and the relevant Waverley service officer, who forms the key link officer during the funding period. The partnership agreement details the key outputs and achievements for the year and is signed by both parties. A proforma partnership agreement is attached at Annexe 5. The partnership agreement enables service officers to monitor each organisation’s performance against stated outcomes.

New Organisations

15. In the first year of operation (2001/02) only those organisations previously receiving revenue support were invited to apply to become sponsored organisations.

16. From the second year of operation (2002/03) the Sponsored Organisation Scheme was opened to new organisations to apply. This ensures equity of access to Council funding and ensures that those organisations funded though the scheme continue to meet Waverley priorities.

17. However, by inviting new organisations to apply, this inevitably means increasing demands on finite resources and makes the decision-making process of awarding grants ever more challenging. If the overall budget for Sponsored Organisations remains at the same level as the last two years, the consequence of awarding grants to any new organisations that the Council may wish to support will result in reduced funding to one or more existing sponsored organisations.

Observations of the Community Overview and Scrutiny Committee

18. With regard to the changes outlined in paragraph 8 above, the Committee’s view in relation to the Partnership Funding Board proposal was that this approach should not be adopted, at least for the present.

19. However, another change was welcomed by the Committee. This related to general reserves held by organisations and that the applications from such organisations should continue to be considered on a case by case basis, mindful of the Charity Commission’s current recommendations and advice.

20. The third change was that organisations would be assessed against the degree to which they contributed to Waverley’s Corporate Plan, current priorities and the Community Strategy and the Committee concurred with this.

21. Members acknowledged that by inviting new organisations to apply inevitably meant increased demands on finite resources and made the decision-making process of awarding grants ever more challenging. However, it was felt that new organisations should not be discouraged from applying.

22. On the question of the overall level of funding for the scheme in 2005/06, the majority view was that it should be increased by the rate of inflation.

23. The Community Overview and Scrutiny Committee therefore agreed to commend the Executive as follows:

Recommendation

It is recommended that the Executive: 1. gives consideration to the observations of the Community Overview and Scrutiny Committee contained in paragraphs 18 – 23 above;

2. approves the application eligibility and grant criteria for the Sponsored Organisation Scheme, as set out in Annexe 2;

3. agrees that officers be authorised to reject any applications that do not meet the eligibility conditions detailed in Annexe 2;

4. approves the timetable for applying for Sponsored Organisation Scheme funding for 2005/06, as set out in Annexe 4;

5. gives consideration to the possible level of overall funding for the Sponsored Organisation Scheme in 2005/06, and

6. in the light of the above consideration, agrees either:


a) that the Sponsored Organisation Scheme is open to new organisations as well as existing sponsored organisations to apply for funding in 2005/06;
b) that the Sponsored Organisation Scheme is not open to new organisations to apply for funding in 2005/06.

________________________________________________________________________
Background Papers (DoF)

There are no background papers (as defined by Section 100D(5) of the Local Government Act 1972) relating to this report.

________________________________________________________________________

CONTACT OFFICER:

Name: Wendy Varcoe Telephone: 01483 .523093

E-mail: wvarcoe@waverley.gov.uk




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