council considers 'sub-contracting' its grants fund to third-party
and Highbridge Town Council is considering 'sub-contracting' the
provision of local grants to a third-party group, Somerset Community
Council Clerk Denise Emery said at Monday's Policy and Finance Committee
meeting that she has held talks with the community organisation
regarding the possibility of it managing the council's £45,000
annual grants fund.
experts in community grants, they would be ideally placed to manage
the grants process and deal with the administration, taking a 10
per cent 'commission'," she said.
town council would still have the final say on which groups get
the funding and there would be due diligence in place."
feel the business-related grants for the likes of Christmas lights
would not be included as that's not where the group's expertise
added that the foundation has visibility of other local grant funding
streams, such as EDF's Hinkley Point C community grants, that could
lead to reduced reliance on grant applications from the Town Council.
Mike Facey, Chairman of the Policy and Finance Committee, said he
supports the idea but said more details would be required before
a decision is made. "The cost to us is not exorbitant and I
think it could suit us," he said.
Cllr Janet Keen, right, said she is not in favour of the
idea. "I feel this is not for us, I don't like it. We are the
closest link to parishioners and are best placed to respond on the
spot to local applications. Going down this route would also mean
we'd have £4,500 less to give out to local groups in grant
funding every year."
John Parkes added: "We have the best first-hand experience
locally, but Somerset Community Foundation would give us improved
monitoring of grants and they have a good track record of handling
grants. They will also be handling millions of pounds of EDF grants
in the years to come and are a key player - I support the idea."
Paul Young added: "Is 10% a reasonable charge for this? It
feels an enormous amount to me, quite exorbitant, when others such
as estate agents get a far smaller 3% commission."
Andy Brewer said no decision could be made without knowing the implications
in more detail.
Phil Harvey said the idea could work, but suggested a further meeting
with the Foundation's representatives to discuss the matter in more
detail. Further talks will be held.