Councillor Rutland-Barsby presented the report to Council. She
said that the Council reviewed its grants policy every year and
checked that the priorities were aligned correctly to its corporate
principles. There was little change in the report that was
unanimously adopted by Council in December 2019. However, the key points that needed approval in
the report were the continuation of the two pilot schemes that were
introduced in 2020/2021 for the duration of one year.
Councillor Rutland-Barsby said she did not need to elaborate on
the effect of COVID over the last 12 months. The one good thing that this terrible situation
had made very clear, was the enormously enthusiastic community
spirit and tremendously helpful volunteering that had assisted the
official bodies to cope with the challenges thrown at
The financial challenges caused by Covid had shown that small local initiatives need to be encouraged and nurtured and with this in mind she asked Members to endorse the continuation of the Small Grants pilot to assist with these activities, building more self-reliant and strong communities
The other pilot the council wished to extend was the Crowd
Funding Match Scheme with the HCC platform – Crowdfunding
Hertfordshire. This would allow
initiatives to become less reliant on the tradition grant
programmes of local authorities, which in the future may have to be
reduced to cope with the continuing financial pressures.
The participation of all Members was the key to the success of the schemes. The endorsement and mentoring with Members’ local knowledge was an invaluable part of the process when officers come to consider and evaluate applications. Councillor Rutland-Barsby said that it was also important that members promote participation by local groups in the East Herts Lottery, as an ongoing source of income for their efforts. Crowdfunding as already said, can be an important of help to specific projects. She added that if any members had any queries or need assistance, Claire Pullen, the Grants Officer would be happy to assist.
Councillor Goldspink confirmed that the Liberal Democrat group were happy to support the recommendations and highlighted that supporting small community groups is important as they had been valued highly during the pandemic.
Councillors Frecknall and Redfern echoed these comments.
Councillor Rutland-Barsby proposed and Councillor Symonds seconded a motion that the proposals be supported. A motion to support the recommendation having been proposed and seconded, was put to the meeting and a vote taken. The motion was declared CARRIED.
RESOLVED – that the revised Community Grants Policy and priorities for 2021/22 be approved.