Over the next few weeks the Council and public bodies dependent upon them have to do some rapid arithmetic to understand how they pass on or absorb the cuts in their central support from CLG. A consultation on important pots of money that go to the local voluntary sector has appeared. This is important for everyone locally who gets funding from:
'Voluntary Community and Faith (VCF) Infrastructure Fund; Area Committee Grants; Discretionary Rate Relief; and discounted rents for organisations in council owned premises.'
'A new Local Initiatives Fund equivalent to the current £320,000 annual Area Committee grants will be established. The Fund will continue to award grants for local improvements and community activity proposed by councillors from each ward, using the current Area Committee grants criteria.
'£20,000 per year will be allocated per ward to fund activity and projects which benefit the local community in these areas.'
These funds will be reorganised like so:
'Introduce a new Voluntary and Community Sector Grants Fund to replace the existing VCF Infrastructure Fund from 2011-12 onwards.
Categorise the Fund thematically to include a wider range of funding priorities.
Allocate £200,000 per annum to fund an Islington Community Chest. There will be two funding rounds each year.
Specify the amount of funding available within each theme and the maximum grant that organisations can apply for.
Offer longer funding agreements to 31 March 2015 and a commitment not to reduce grants during this four year period.
End the facility for organisations that lose their funding to negotiate any additional awards of transitional funding.
Introduce a new Local Initiatives Fund to replace the existing £320,000 of Area Committee Budgets from 2011-12 onwards. Each ward will have an allocation of £20,000 per year.
Review the council’s arrangements for granting Discretionary Rate Relief, revise the criteria and introduce an annual application process.
Adopt more transparent processes by establishing a Sub-Committee of the Council’s Executive to make decisions on grant awards.'
The deadline is tight – January 10th.
I thought i would post this quickly rather than spend hours poring over it. My major question is whether the transparent sub-committee making grant decisions will be open to the public or webcast.
A couple of things jump out though that it would be helpful to have comments on – youth work West of the Cally is delivered almost entirely by the voluntary sector – what is the impact on them? The emphasis on services of a 'significant scale' might be helpful for groups like Crumbles or CYP with a large client base, but may not be good for Sparkplug with a small clientele. There's a big pot of money for 'large community centres' and i don't think we have any in Kings Cross proper.