6, 2016 Burnham
councillor accused of acting 'like a court jester' during debate
Burnham-On-Sea town councillor has been accused of acting like
a 'court jester' during a heated debate about grant funding policy
Phil Harvey was accused of "political point-scoring"
after proposing a new policy and procedure be introduced to handle
grant applications from businesses.
proposed clearer criteria for awarding business grants, tightening
up monitoring, gathering more evidence of grant funding achievements
and progress, and he suggested that bigger grants be awarded to
community groups than for businesses.
Cllr Mike Facey, Chair of the council's Policy and Finance Committee,
told Monday evening's meeting: "I don't know if we're allowing
political point-scoring tonight but it certainly sounds like it
members received a memo in June and in the last paragraph it said
if you would like more discussion on this matter please ask the
Town Clerk or the Chairman of Policy and Finance to put it on
the next agenda rather than come along and play the part of a
added: "Our Burnham and Highbridge Town Council annual report
also gives details about how much we spent on grants last year,
covers a new monitoring system ensuring grants recipients return
evidence of grants spent, and that applications over £1,000
will require the presence of the applicant, plus an update at
system is in place and I would be only too place to discuss this
with the Town Clerk and Cllr Harvey if he wants to come along
in the proper way as we suggested in the memo of June 1st."
Cllr Harvey responded: "Cllr Mike should be aware as he chairs
the committee that I gave my apologies at the last Policy and
Finance Committee meeting because I was away on holiday. Therefore,
the suggestion in the memo was never available to me. Tonight
was the next best plan. I wasn't at the last meeting so I couldn't
bring it up at the last Policy and Finance Committee meeting."
Harvey said: "As a Town Council we do not receive any funds
from businesses, so we have to be very careful with any grants
we give to them as they are not our primary responsibility."
to businesses can be justified and what I am trying to do in this
motion is build on the memo that we received from the Town Clerk
which asked us to try and come up with some coherent policy."
a Town Council I don't think we are particularly good at producing
policies, whether coherent or not. I do feel we tend to make day
to day decisions more often than not. Before you is an attempt
to produce a policy on businesses. It may not be perfect - it
may require amendments and further discussion."
and Highbridge Mayor, Cllr Michael Clarke, proposed that councillors
take away the suggested policy document to review and then to
provide any feedback to the Policy and Finance Committee for it
to compile a recommendation for the full council.
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