Consultation on grant funding (20th Dec-20th Mar)

Published on: Wednesday, 8th December 2021
Cllr Carol Hart

Local voluntary and community sector groups in Derbyshire are being asked to help create the best possible support arrangements for the future during a 12-week consultation.

On Monday 6th December, Derbyshire County Council’s Cabinet agreed to consult on the way it allocates recurrent grants, which are given annually to support the valuable work done by voluntary, charity and community sector organisations across Derbyshire.

By working with local groups, the county council says it will help create a fairer and more consistent approach to ensure organisations can best enable and support Derbyshire’s most vulnerable residents. 

Derbyshire County Council’s cabinet member for health and communities Councillor Carol Hart said: “This is a great opportunity to work with our valued community and voluntary sector groups which do an amazing job helping people in Derbyshire.

“We’ve been working with local groups over the summer to find out what they needed to carry out their work in a sustainable way and we can now take those conversations further through consultation.”

Each year the county council spends around £3million supporting local voluntary and community sector (VCS) groups of which just less than £780,000 is given out annually as recurrent grants, without a specified end date.

In July, the council’s cabinet agreed in principle that all grants issued by the council should have an end date.

Principles of the consultation are based on creating a fairer, co-ordinated and consistent approach designed to ensure funding:

  • Meets the ambitions and priorities of the council and emerging community needs
  • Can be allocated to new organisations and new activities if needed.

If a grant is found to be providing a statutory service – something the council is legally bound to carry out – it could become a ‘commissioned’ service and funded differently.

Councillor Hart said: “Every year hundreds of local community groups and volunteers do invaluable work supporting thousands of people in Derbyshire.

“We give annual recurrent grants to just over 60 groups to help fund their work although there are many thousands of other groups that don’t receive any funding from us.

“Based on feedback from local groups, we’ve come up with some ideas about how we can create a fairer and more consistent system and we’d now like to hear from as many groups as possible on what they think of our proposals.

“Giving community groups a chance to shape our approach will help create the best possible arrangements for the community sector and support communities to thrive.”

Following Cabinet’s decision, a 12-week consultation would launch on 20th December.

Councillor Hart added: “As an Enterprising Council one of our key priorities is to create empowered and self-sufficient local communities. Supporting the voluntary and community sector to grow and thrive is central to achieving this.”

The county council’s cabinet also agreed to secure £450,000 of funding until March 2023 for infrastructure organisations which support the work of the local VCS.

The cabinet reports can be found on the council’s website.

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