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Decision details

Tackling Inequalities in the City through investing in Grants to the Voluntary and Community Sector 2020-2021

Decision Maker: Cabinet

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: Yes

Is subject to call in?: Yes

Purpose:

The report seeks permission to agree a grant aid budget at a value of £1.437m for a period of one financial year (2020-2021) and extend the majority of existing Grant Aid funding arrangements for 12 months up to 31 March 2021, to allow for a full and thorough review of Voluntary Sector Grant Aid.

 

Decision:

9.1

The Executive Director, People Services, submitted a report seeking permission to agree a grant aid budget, at a value of £1.437m, for a period of one financial year (2020-2021) for the purposes outlined in the report, and to extend the majority of existing grant aid funding arrangements for 12 months up to 31 March 2021, to allow for a full and thorough review of Voluntary Sector Grant Aid to be undertaken to (a) understand outcomes achieved from grant aid funding, (b) understand the impact on Council priorities of not funding the voluntary and community sector (VCS) and (c) gain an overview of total Council investment in the VCS.

 

 

9.2

RESOLVED: That Cabinet agrees an extension to the existing Grant Aid Strategy (2017-20) for 12 months from 1st April 2020 to 31st March 2021, as outlined in the report, and in particular:-

 

 

 

(i)

approves the Grant Aid budget for the extension period of £1.437m for the financial year 2020-2021, as detailed within the report;

 

 

 

(ii)

approves the individual grant awards as detailed within the report and delegates authority for signing the necessary variations to the existing multi-year Grant Agreements to the Head of Communities where no such authority exists under the Leader’s Scheme of Delegation;

 

 

 

(iii)

agrees that the Tackling Inequality Fund be re-launched for applications; and where no such authority exists under the Leader’s Scheme of Delegation, delegates authority to the Head of Communities, in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods and Community Safety, to award and manage such grant awards in line with the report;

 

 

 

(iv)

awards existing Lunch Clubs a 12 month extension for 2020/21, subject to a delegated approval of the Head of Communities in line with the report;

 

 

 

(v)

approves the extension of the Lunch Club Development Support for 12 months in line with the report, and where no such authority exists under the Leader’s Scheme of Delegation, delegates authority to the Head of Communities to manage such Development Support in line with the report;

 

 

 

(vi)

where no existing authority exists under the Leader’s Scheme of Delegation, delegates authority to the Head of Communities to:-

 

 

 

(A)

agree the amounts, purposes and recipients of any individual grants awarded in-year from the Grant Funds including any additional sums received, returned or unpaid and to carry out such management and award and withdrawal of such funding as necessary and in line with the report;

 

 

 

 

(B)

to allocate any other additional sums that may be received in-year from other parts of the Council or other partners as part of the Voluntary Sector Grant Aid process to fund local voluntary sector activity;

 

 

 

 

(C)

to vire the budgets between the stated grant funds if an underspend is identified during the financial year; and

 

 

 

 

(D)

to make changes to the ‘outcomes and delivery’ of grants for 2020/21 in line with the objectives of the report.

 

 

 

9.3

Reasons for Decision

 

 

9.3.1

Extending existing arrangements for a year into 2020/21 allows us to continue to support the valuable work of the VCS, tackling inequalities in Sheffield in the most cost effective way, whilst we undertake a thorough review of the Council’s investment in grant aid, how we can link to other funding streams and gain a greater understanding of the overall impact to its citizens.

 

 

9.3.2

The City Council wishes to continue to fund the voluntary sector through grant aid whilst understanding the financial constraints. We want to show the voluntary sector we value the excellent and wide ranging support they provide to a wide and diverse range of Sheffield residents.

 

 

9.3.3

Relaunching the Tackling Inequalities Fund, part of the overall Grant Aid monies, allows us to invite new organisations in the city to bid for funding to allow for innovative support to the City’s diverse communities.

 

 

9.4

Alternatives Considered and Rejected

 

 

9.4.1

Make no reduction to the Grant Aid fund

 

A strong voluntary and community sector is the foundation for a thriving society, and is invaluable in supporting the Council’s priority to reduce inequalities across the City of Sheffield, e.g. health, poverty.

 

 

9.4.2

Reduction applied to Citizens Advice Bureau grant only

 

Reducing the largest grant, the Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) grant, means only one grant recipient receives a cut in 2020/21. CAB also receives funding from other services within the Council. However, this may lead to a reduced service to a particular community or loss of a post.

 

 

9.5

Any Interest Declared or Dispensation Granted

 

 

 

None

 

 

9.6

Reason for Exemption if Public/Press Excluded During Consideration

 

 

 

None

 

 

9.7

Respective Director Responsible for Implementation

 

 

 

John Macilwraith, Executive Director, People Services.

 

 

9.8

Relevant Scrutiny and Policy Development Committee If Decision Called In

 

 

 

Safer and Stronger Communities.

 

Report author: Angela Greenwood

Publication date: 27/11/2019

Date of decision: 20/11/2019

Decided at meeting: 20/11/2019 - Cabinet

Effective from: 03/12/2019

Accompanying Documents: