TO CONSIDER THE ARRANGEMENTS FOR GRANT GIVING IN 2021/22
At their meeting on 13 October 2021, Members of Finance Employment and Risk Management (FERM) Committee reviewed the Council’s approach to grant giving, both in the context of the Council year 2021/22 and also in terms of setting up a structure for grant giving in future years.
Up until 2019 the approach was to set grant budgets as part of the budget setting process before the start of the financial year. Then in late August / early September notice was given both on posters and the website, inviting applications to be made on a standard form, usually by the beginning of October, for consideration at the October FERM Committee, which would make recommendations to Full Council in November. The standard application form contains notes explaining the criteria for grant giving. Appended to this report is the application form used in 2020, when because of Covid, the process was delayed until even later in the year.
Under s142 Local Government Act 1972 the Council has the power to contribute towards or provide parish newsletters. Melton PC assists with funding for the production and distribution of the Melton Messenger, a community magazine published by St Andrew’s Church, which includes news from the wider community, including the Parish Council. In 2020/21, the Council budgeted for a grant of £1,150, but only gave £400, to reflect the suspension of the printed version due to Covid.
Under s137 Local Government Act 1972 the Council has the power to incur by resolution expenditure which is in the interests of the area or its inhabitants subject to an annual limit prescribed by law. For 2021/22 the limit is £8.41 x the number of electors in the parish. Given the size of Melton (3531 electors as at December 2020) it has never been a risk that the limit (about £29.6k) will be exceeded. This power can be used to make grants to voluntary organisations where there is no other specific power that applies; e.g. grants to Citizen’s Advice would not be made under s137 as there is a specific power – s142(2A) Local government Act 1972. [Note: the power does not apply where a Council declares by resolution that it has the general power of competence when it can do anything that generally individuals of full age can do but this does not currently apply to Melton.] In 2020/21, there was no budget set for grant giving, however the Council used the underspend on the grant to the Melton Messenger to make two small grants totalling £659. For 2021/22 there is a budget of £350, £249 of which has been expended in a grant to contribute to the cost of printing the Local Food Project leaflet.
In terms of the future administration of grants and publication of the Council’s grant-giving arrangements, it would be helpful if the framework can be standardised for future years, in terms of both how it will operate and when within the Council year, with only the amount available to be left for annual variation in the light of the agreed budget. Councillors are invited to consider this aspect and make recommendations to Full Council.
Following discussion at FERM Committee it was resolved to recommend to Full Council as follows:
- To contribute to the Melton Messenger in 2021/22 7/12ths of the original budget of £1,200 (i.e. £700) to reflect the part suspension of the printed version in the year due to Covid.
- In terms of other grants within 2021/22, to review later in the year and return to the traditional timescale next year.
- In terms of the future administration of grants and publication of the Council’s grant-giving arrangements, to revert to the timescales for annual grant giving that applied pre-Covid, with applications being invited in late August on a standard form, to be considered at the meeting of FERM Committee in October and recommendations made to the November meeting of Full Council.
Full Council is recommended:
- To agree to make a contribution to the Melton Messenger in 2021/22 of 7/12ths of the original budget of £1,200 (i.e. £700) to reflect the part suspension of the printed version in the year due to Covid.
- Given that there are only 4 full months left in the current financial year, and in the light of the budgetary situation as reported elsewhere to this meeting, to finally decide whether to make sundry grants within the current year and if so, the budget to be applied; and to further agree that applications (to be submitted on the standard form) by Friday 3 December will be considered by FERM Committee at its meeting on 8 December, with recommendations made to Full Council at its meeting on 19 January 2022 for a final decision.
- In terms of the future administration of grants and publication of the Council’s grant-giving arrangements, to agree to revert to the timescales for annual grant giving that applied pre-Covid, with applications being invited in late August of each year on a standard form, to be considered at the meeting of FERM Committee in October and recommendations made to the November meeting of Full Council.
Clerk and Executive Officer to the Council
9 November 2021
APPENDIX: GRANT APPLICATION FORM USED IN 2020
GRANT APPLICATION 2020
|Name of Organisation|
|Building Name and/or No:|
|Purpose of Organisation:|
|Position in Organisation:|
|Contact Telephone No|
|Contact Email Address|