Organisations to benefit from council funding
Published Tuesday 14th February 12
Charities and community groups could benefit from annual funding of £140,000 if Wellingborough Council’s three year grants programme is approved at a meeting of the resources committee next week.
The budget for support to voluntary and community organisations has been reduced by 25% and a new set of funding priorities agreed as part of the council's requirement to save money. It was decided that from April this year there would be an open application process and grants would be allocated according to six different themes, such as employment advice and debt management. This meant that organisations could apply for as many of the themes as they wanted, but they had to show how they would make best use of any grant, how they would deliver services of the highest quality and how they would ensure they wouldn't duplicate the work of other organisations. Other areas, such as governance, finance, and the ability to monitor and evaluate services were also looked at in detail.
During the six week application process at the end of last year the council received 19 requests for funding from a total of 10 organisations. The applications were assessed using a scoring system and following the results of the exercise a recommended list of recipients was drawn up to benefit from a share of the £140,000 of money budgeted for the grants.
Council leader Paul Bell said: "We've had requests for funding of more than £276,000 but we only have a budget of £140,000. This means of course that some organisations will be disappointed but we have done everything we can to prepare them for this situation. We gave all organisations that we've historically funded a year's notice that the budget would be reduced and they would have to compete for the money. We have encouraged them to develop as wide a funding base as possible so they're not reliant on a single source and we'll continue to help steer them towards other funding possibilities.
"The organisations that we are recommending share in the funding all have applications that stand out and we're confident they will use the money to really benefit the community. Although the funding is for three years, all grants will be awarded subject to agreed outcomes and will be monitored twice a year. No further funding instalments will be released until satisfactory performance has been demonstrated. We have a lot less money to go around and whilst we want to continue to help charities and community groups as much as we can, we have to know we're getting the best possible benefit from the grants."
The organisations that are recommended to receive funding as part of the six themes are: community transport - Shire Community Services (£20,000); debt management - Nene Valley Citizens Advice Bureau (£30,000); deprived/at risk communities - The Victoria Centre (£23,000) and Wellingborough Afro-Carribean Association (£7,000); employment advice - Nene Valley Citizens Advice Bureau (£20,000); equalities advice - Northants Rights and Equalities Council (£10,000); infrastructure support - Nene Valley Community Action (£20,000); support for victims of crime - Victim Support (£10,000).
In addition to these recommendations, the council also grants £22,106 to support services to prevent interpersonal violence, £26,600 for the premises for the Shopmobility scheme in the town centre which is repaid to the council as rent, and £19,950 to fund Wellingborough Museum for one year.
The resources committee will meet on Wednesday 22 February at 7pm.