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Waverley Borough Council Committee System - Committee Document

Meeting of the Environment and Leisure Overview and Scrutiny Committee held on 13/09/2005
Sponsored Organisation Scheme 2006/07 Grant Eligibility, Criteria and Timetable



Summary & Purpose
The purpose of this report is to consider the grant eligibility, criteria and timetable for assessing applications for the Sponsored Organisation Scheme in 2006/07.

Quality of Life Implications
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APPENDIX C
WAVERLEY BOROUGH COUNCIL

ENVIRONMENT AND LEISURE OVERVIEW AND SCRUTINY COMMITTEE –
13TH SEPTEMBER 2005

_________________________________________________________________________

Title:
SPONSORED ORGANISATION SCHEME 2006/07
GRANT ELIGIBILITY, CRITERIA & TIMETABLE

[Wards Affected: All]
_________________________________________________________________________

Summary and purpose:

The purpose of this report is to consider the grant eligibility, criteria and timetable for assessing applications for the Sponsored Organisation Scheme in 2006/07.

_________________________________________________________________________

Quality of life implications – social, environmental & economic (sustainable development):

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:

1. In the first five 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 = 605,465
2005/06
26
550,010
Sponsored Organisation Scheme
2005/06
15
49,455
Waverley Voluntary Grants Partnership
TOTAL
599,465

2. This funding is not held within a central grant fund but within each of the different service areas of Waverley’s budget.

3. The level of funding for Sponsored Organisations has remained the same for the last three years. This has not allowed for any increase in grants awarded to existing sponsored organisations.

4. At the Executive meeting held on 4th October 2004, it was agreed that no new organisations would be invited to apply to the Sponsored Organisation Scheme in 2005/06 but that a commitment be made to open the scheme to new organisations in 2006/07. The consequences of awarding funding to any new organisations the Council may wish to support without increasing the total funding available will be a reduction in funding for existing sponsored organisations.

5. It is therefore proposed that the level of funding is increased by 18,000 in-line with current inflation (3%) but that this increase is assessed alongside other demands on Council’s finances during the budget process.

6. The application timetable, as detailed in paragraphs 17-19 will enable the Sponsored Organisation Scheme applications to be considered as part of the budget process.

Background

7. 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 & Resources Committee agreed the details of the scheme on 4th July 2000.

8. 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 Waverley residents in partnership with the Council’.

9. 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.

10. 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 & Scrutiny committees and by Executive prior to opening each years bidding round.

11. Following the review of the scheme in 2003, 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.

12. This report considers the grant eligibility, criteria and timetable for the Sponsored Organisation Scheme in 2006/07 and provides details of the proposals for contributing for a second year to the Waverley Voluntary Grants Partnership in 2006/07.

Eligibility & Criteria

13. The proposed eligibility and criteria for organisations wishing to be considered for funding is set out in the application guidance at Annexe 3

14. In particular, members are asked to consider the following:

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

15. Each application is thoroughly assessed and scored against the proposed grant criteria for 2006/07 as detailed in Annexe 3. Officers within each of the relevant service departments undertake the assessments. In addition, a financial assessment of each organisations annual accounts is undertaken by Waverley’s accountants.

16. The service officers consider the results from the financial assessments when making funding recommendations. Service officers use a standard assessment form to ensure equity in assessing each application. A copy is attached at Annexe 4.

Timetable

17. It is proposed that applications are invited to apply for SOS funding for the financial year 2006/07, following the Executive’s approval of the grant eligibility and criteria on 11th October 2005. The proposed closing date for applications is Monday 14th November 2005. A workshop for any new potential applicants to provide information and support will be held at the end of October 2005.

18. Applications will be assessed and scored against the SOS eligibility and criteria between 15th November and 2nd December 2005. These assessments will be undertaken by officers within each of the relevant service departments and by Waverley accountants.

19. Applications and assessment results will be considered by the Chief Officers Group on 14th December 2005, by each of the relevant Overview and Scrutiny Committees in January 2005/06 and by Executive at the budget meeting on 7th February 2006. Applicants will be notified the outcome of their applications in writing after Council on 27th February 2006. A summary of the timetable is provided at Annexe 5. Partnership Agreements

20. 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 6. The partnership agreement enables service officers to monitor each organisations performance against stated outcomes. New Organisations 21. In the first year of operation (2001/02) only those organisations previously receiving revenue support were invited to apply to become sponsored organisations. From the second year of operation (2002/03) the Sponsored Organisation Scheme was opened to new organisations to apply.

22. Taking into consideration the constraints on Waverley’s budget for 2005/06, the Executive, at its meeting on 4th October 2004, agreed that:

23. Opening the scheme to new organisations will ensure equity of access to Council funding and ensure that those organisations funded through the scheme continues to meet Waverley priorities. 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. By increasing the overall Sponsored Organisation Scheme budget in line with inflation (a proposed increase of 18,000) this will enable the Council to award grants to any new organisations it may wish to support as well as providing some increases in grants to existing sponsored organisations.

Waverley Voluntary Grants Partnership

24. The Waverley Voluntary Grants Partnership (previously the Waverley Voluntary Grants Panel) is a partnership fund with the Guildford and Waverley Primary Care Trust (PCT) and Surrey County Council Adults and Community Care and Children’s Services which seeks to fund social welfare organisations.

25. At the meeting of the Executive on 4th October 2004, it was agreed that Waverley would support social welfare organisations through the Waverley Voluntary Grants Partnership (WVGP) rather than through the Sponsored Organisation Scheme. It was agreed that Waverley would contribute to the scheme as a pilot, for the financial year 2005/06 and that the contribution (49,455) would equate with the Sponsored Organisation Scheme grant approved to these organisations in 2004/05. It was agreed that two nominated Members, supported by officers, would represent Waverley on the WVGP. 27. Fifteen SOS funded organisations transferred to the WVGP with two further groups, who were not funded in the previous year, directed toward the fund for the future. The transition was seamless and the process extremely successful with all SOS organisations achieving at least the same level of funding as they had previously received from the SOS funds (or what they had requested for 2005/06), and some receiving more. 26. The grants awarded for 2005/06 by the WVGP are summarised in the tables attached at Annexe 2.

28. In total 340,743 was awarded to 36 voluntary organisations within the Waverley area. These are divided as follows:
a) Grants totalling 60,238 were awarded by the WVGP to 15 of Waverley’s Sponsored Organisations defined as social welfare. b) A further 10 grants, totalling 117,322 were also awarded to organisations that are Waverley Sponsored Organisations.

c) A further 16 voluntary organisations working within the Waverley area also received grants totalling 163,183.

29. The benefits identified from the joined up process of the WVGP are: q a reduced workload for the voluntary bodies, as they only need to make one, and not three, applications for funding; q a reduced workload for the statutory organisations concerned, as many voluntary bodies previously made applications for grant funding to all three statutory authorities; q better clarity and consistency of approach when determining grants; q a further promotion of the concept of joint working, bringing greater coherence to public expenditure, which is in line with the Government’s and Audit Commission’s ‘pooled budgets’ approach; and q supporting the work of the Local Strategic Partnership.

30. Currently across the Guildford and Waverley PCT area Partnership funds are administered separately in each Borough. There are wider benefits to be gained from joining up the process across the Guildford and Waverley area. There are already some shared processes:

q shared paperwork; q monitoring and evaluation is standardised across the areas; q workshops for applicant organisations are held jointly; and q a shared constitution has been agreed.

31. A further stepped approach to joining up the schemes would mean that: q decisions about organisations that span both Boroughs would be consistent; q there will be a joint approach to establishing key priorities for the services, to ensure sustainability and to build capacity; and q the process is more compliant with the principles of the Compact.

32. In order to establish some financial security for the key funded organisations the shared constitution involves partner funding organisations making annual contributions with an increase each year to take into account the effects of inflation. In addition partners are requested that an in principle agreement to funding on a three year basis will be made.

Recommendation

Members are asked to agree any observations to be passed to the Executive on the following-:

1. The application eligibility and grant criteria for the Sponsored Organisation Scheme as set out at Annexe 3;

2. The proposed timetable for applying for Sponsored Organisation funding for 2006/07 as set out at Annexe 5;

3. Consider whether the Sponsored Organisation Scheme is open to new applicants for 2006/07;

4. That Waverley contributes to the Waverley Voluntary Grants Partnership in 2006/07 on the same basis as in 2005/06 with two nominated members on the panel and that the results of the grants are reported back to the Overview and Scrutiny Committees and the Executive;

5. The overall level of funding for the Sponsored Organisation Scheme and Waverley Voluntary Grants Partnership in 2006/07 is increased in line with inflation but that such an increase will have to be assessed alongside other demands on Council finances during the budget process.

6. The Waverley Voluntary Grants Partnership take further steps to join up the grant administration processes with the Guildford Partnership Scheme. ________________________________________________________________________

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: Paul Wenham Telephone: 01483 .523238

E-mail: pwenham@waverley.gov.uk

Comms/o&s3/2005-06/024