The Committee received & considered the report from the Strategic Director & Community Development Manager.
The Community Development Manager provided feedback on the current community grants delivery commissioned to run until 30 August 2021 and reported the proposal to transition to a Community Investment Fund model in partnership with the Norfolk Community Foundation.
Councillor Wainwright asked if any modelling had been undertaken to ascertain what effect the cut of £50k of funding had had on the charities concerned.
Claire Cullins, CEO, Norfolk Community Foundation, gave a high level presentation to the Committee detailing the new community grants scheme, with funding contribution of £50k from GYBC for 2021/22, as part of the Great Yarmouth Community Investment Fund which would be administered by the Norfolk Community Foundation. This would operate on line with the priorities set out in the Great Yarmouth Locality Strategy.
Councillor Martin thanked Claire for her informative presentation which had alleviated several of her concerns but she was saddened that local Members would not have a say in how local charities were funded to meet the needs of local residents.
Councillor Wainwright reported that he agreed with Councillor martin but was comforted that the Committee would receive a six monthly updates and an annual report from the Norfolk Community Foundation.
Councillor Smith-Clare reported that it was imperative that the Council looked at the bigger picture especially how this new way of funding would impact the youth of the Borough. Councillor Smith-Clare requested data on the youth unemployment figures for Great Yarmouth, the percentage of 18-24 year olds currently without 5 GCSE's including Maths & English, the career framework put in place for this age group and what number of apprenticeships were available to them at this time. The Strategic Director reported that the Council had recently commissioned a piece of work which would encompass these questions and she would report back to the Committee when the work had been completed.
Councillor Williamson was concerned that £50k of funding would be sufficient to kickstart this new fund and requested that further background information be given to the Committee as to how much funding was awarded to the Council, where it came from and where it went.
Councillor D Hammond asked if grants were awarded for individuals as well as groups. Claire Cullins reported that the majority of funding was awarded to groups but individual funding for carers had been awarded. Councillor Martin asked if the criteria for grant support for carers could be circulated to all members.
Councillor Hacon expressed her disappointment that Members would no longer be required to sit on the Grants Panel and award funding to well-deserving local charities which, in her view, was a great shame.
Councillor Wainwright asked if the NCF provided assistance in applying for grants as the forms could be quite complicated and time-consuming to complete. Claire Cullens reported that the NCF could assist with this process and work through applications over the telephone and sometimes the application only consisted of a much-simpler expression of interest application.
The Committee agreed to approve that Firstmove Furnishaid keep its grant as allocated, in order to deliver the outcomes originally intended, ideally before 30 August 2021 or as soon as possible.
The Chairman thanked Claire for her informative presentation and for the good work her and her NCF team were undertaking for the residents of Norfolk.
That the Committee agree to:-
(a) Note the achievements of the commissioned VCSE organisations in supporting local
communities during the pandemic and provide advice regarding the one underspent grant
(b) Cease the current community grant scheme on 30 August 2021,
(c) Establish the Great Yarmouth Community Investment Fund through the formation of a
strategic partnership with the Norfolk Community Foundation (NCF) from 1 April 2021,
(d) Provide a funding contribution of £50,000 from 2021/22 for a new community grants
scheme as part of the Great Yarmouth Community Investment Fund to be administered by
the NCF in line with the priorities set within the Great Yarmouth Locality Strategy and
detailed in the criteria of this report at para 3.5,
(e) Delegates authority to the Strategic Director to sign a formal Funding Agreement with the
Norfolk Community Foundation; and
(f) Receive future six-month updates and annual reports on the work of the Great Yarmouth
Community Investment Fund as set out in the terms of the Agreement with the Norfolk
(g) Approve that Firstmove Furnishaid to keep its grant as allocated in order to deliver the outcomes originally intended, ideally before 30 August 2021 or as soon as possible.