Venue: Council Chamber, The White House, Hockliffe Street, Leighton Buzzard, Beds, LU7 1HD
Contact: Committee Officer 01525 631920 or: Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
APPOINTMENT OF CHAIR
It was proposed by Councillor S Jones and seconded by Councillor S Hemmings that Councillor C Palmer be appointed Chair of the Grants and Awards Sub-Committee for the municipal year 2019-2020. There were no further nominations. On being put to the vote, the motion was carried.
RESOLVED to appoint Councillor C Palmer Chair of the Grants and Awards Sub-Committee for the municipal year 2019-2020.
APPOINTMENT OF VICE CHAIR
It was proposed by Councillor S Jones and seconded by Councillor A Gray that Councillor S Hemmings be appointed Vice Chair of the Grants and Awards Sub-Committee for the municipal year 2019-2020. There were no further nominations. On being put to the vote, the motion was carried.
RESOLVED to appoint Councillor S Hemmings Vice Chair of the Grants and Awards Sub-Committee for the municipal year 2019-2020.
APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
Schedule 12 of the Local Government Act 1972 requires a record be kept of the Members present and that this record form part of the minutes of the meeting. Members who cannot attend a meeting should tender apologies to the Town Clerk.
Apologies for absence were received from Councillors K Cursons, J D’Este-Hoare and B Spurr.
DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
(i) Under the Localism Act 2011 (sections 26-37 and Schedule 4) and in accordance with the Council’s Code of Conduct, Members are required to declare any interests which are not currently entered in the Member’s Register of Interests or if he/she has not notified the Monitoring Officer of it.
(ii) Should any Member have a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest in an item on the agenda, the Member may not participate in consideration of that item unless a Dispensation has first been requested (in writing) and granted by the Council (see Dispensation Procedure).
Members were asked to declare any interests, including the nature of those interests, which they had in any of the items under consideration at this meeting.
Councillor A Gray declared an interest in the General Grant application made by Trinity Scout Group, due to being a Trustee at Trinity Methodist Church.
QUESTIONS FROM THE PUBLIC (3 minutes per person; maximum 15 minutes)
To receive questions and statements from members of the public in respect of any item of business included in the agenda, as provided for in Standing Order No.s 3(f) and 3(g).
A member of the public and representative from The Friends of Tiddenfoot Waterside Park spoke in support of their application to purchase wicker hurdles and stakes to continue their work within the park.
A member of the public and representative of Rushmere Parkrun spoke briefly to inform the Sub-Committee of the role of Parkrun within the community and to support their application for General Grant funding to purchase replacement signage and equipment for their weekly free Parkrun.
Two members of the public and representatives of LB Better Speakers spoke briefly of the work carried out by their organisation and their request for General Grant funding to provide 12 monthly workshops at Leighton Buzzard library on communication skills within the workplace and socially.
A member of the public and representative of Trinity Scout Group spoke in support of their application for funding which would benefit the Beavers, Cubs and Scouts with the purchase of equipment to aid work on their newly acquired allotment.
A member of the public and representative from Greenfields Residents Forum spoke briefly in support of their application for funding towards the cost of a coach trip to see the London Christmas lights for residents and carers.
A member of the public and representative of Freddie and Friends Sunshine Stop informed the Sub-Committee of the continued work carried out by the organisation and in support of their application for General Grant Funding to enable them to hold more activity days, purchase equipment and potentially hold a weekend group to give families respite and support over the weekend.
To receive and approve as a correct record the minutes of the Grants Sub-Committee meeting held on 8 April 2019.
The Sub-Committee received the draft minutes of the meeting held on 8 April 2019.
RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting held on 8 April 2019 be approved as a correct record and were signed accordingly.
CITIZENS ADVICE LEIGHTON-LINSLADE
By invitation, Kash Karimzandi, Chief Officer of CALL, will attend the meeting to provide an update regarding Town Council grant funding and services.
The Sub-Committee received a thorough verbal update from Kash Karimzandi, Chief Officer of Citizens Advice Leighton-Linslade (CALL), in respect of the grant funding received from the Town Council and services provided to the public. It was noted that members of the public were seeking advice for increasingly complex issues, particularly in respect of debts, assistance with Universal Credit applications and all other benefits.
CALL provided independent advice within Leighton-Linslade, opening five days a week with one evening session on a Monday, an outreach session at a local General Practice for their patients on a fortnightly basis and telephone and email advice throughout the week. Ad-hoc outreach sessions were also run from the TACTIC centre. At present CALL had 8 members of staff and up to 50 volunteers working out of Bossard House, providing assistance for a variety of problems and needs. Specialist advisers offered advice on Universal Credit, EU settlement applications, Employment and Support Allowance and disability benefits. Appointments were generally booked months in advance and more advisers were being trained to meet this need.
CALL used an external Treasury model to estimate the value to their clients through income gained in benefits, debts written off and consumer problems resolved. It was calculated that residents derived a benefit of more than £40 for every £1 invested in CALL, making a positive difference to the local community of Leighton-Linslade.
Current funding came from Leighton-Linslade Town Council, Central Bedfordshire Council, Welfare Reform Grant, Money Advice and Pensions Service, Help to Claim project and Wixamtree Trust. CALL also ran its own in-house fundraising events. However, looking ahead to 2020-21 it was anticipated that nearly £20,000 could be lost from the core funding, which was likely to have an impact on the delivery of core services in the town.
KashKarimzandi thanked Leighton-Linslade Town Council for its support, which enabled its vital work to continue for local residents.
The Sub-Committee thanked Ms Karimzandi for her comprehensive and positive report and also expressed thanks to all those involved at CALL for their hard work within the Leighton-Linslade community.
RESOLVED to note the report.
(a) To note that the General Grant budget for the financial year 2019-2020 provides £2,700 of available funds (£7,300 of the total £10,000 budget having already been allocated earlier this year).
(b) To consider 2nd round applications for General Grants for 2019-2020 as per the attached schedule, in accordance with the General Grant guidelines (copy attached).
Note: summary information only is attached; full applications may be viewed at the White House during office hours.
The Sub-Committee was advised that the budget allocated for General Grants in 2019-2020 totalled £10,000. A total of £2,700 remained available following the approval of grants totalling £7,300 earlier in the year.
RESOLVED to note the information.
The Sub-Committee received a summary of the seven applications received for a General Grant in 2019-2020, along with a summary of the documents submitted with the applications.
It was noted that the application submitted by Freddie & Friends Sunshine Stop was a second application within the same financial year. However, the Sub-Committee recognised that the majority of the first grant had been for the wider community benefit through the hire of a Mobiloo facility for the Carnival, rather than benefitting the group itself. In order to fund additional equipment and sessions offering respite to local families, it was agreed that on this occasion, a second grant could be awarded.
RESOLVED to approve General Grant funding amounting to £2,720 as follows, subject to all applicants having met the required criteria by providing the required documentation:
(i) To receive and approve as a correct record the minutes of the Grants and Awards Task and Finish Group meeting held on 14 October 2019 (attached).
(ii) To consider the recommendation/s made by the Grants & Awards Task and Finish Group in respect of the Guaranteed Grants and General Grants schemes from 2020-21 onwards.
(a) The Sub-Committee received the minutes of the Grants and Awards Task and Finish Group meeting held on 14 October 2019 and considered recommendations contained therein.
RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting held on 14 October 2019 be approved as a correct record and were signed accordingly.
(b) The Sub-Committee received and considered the recommendations made by the Grants & Awards Task and Finish Group in respect of the Guaranteed Grants and General Grants Schemes from 2020-21 onwards.
RECOMMENDED to the Policy & Finance Committee that:
(i) No changes be made to grant criteria and guidelines for 2020 onwards, beyond minor amendments to ensure consistency and to bring up to date.
(ii) No changes be made to the four year term of Guaranteed Grants.
(iii) No changes be made to the £500 maximum for General Grants.
(iv) No change be made to the annual budget of £10,000 for General Grants at this time (demand to be monitored).
(v) The budget for Guaranteed Grants for 2020-21 be increased to a maxiumum of £35,000 (to be reduced thereafter if not fully allocated to approved applicants).
RECOMMENDED to Policy & Finance Committee:
(i) To launch the Leighton-Linslade Community Volunteer Awards in 2021.
(ii) That nominees for the award should have given at least 5 years of voluntary service to the benefit of the town.
(iii) To remove the current prohibition on nominations for those who had served on the last Town council administration
(iv) That awards be presented each year at the Civic Service.
(v) To continue the tradition that normally a maximum of three awards would be given each year (giving scope to increase this in extraordinary circumstances).
(vi) To maintain the existing budget provision of £300 per year.
(vii) To delegate to the Town Clerk authority to determine the nature of the actual award to be presented.
(viii) To invite the TACTIC Youth Forum to put forward suggestions for a suitable award scheme for young people.
EXCLUSION OF THE PUBLIC
The Committee may consider it appropriate to consider the following resolution should they consider that any discussion would be prejudicial to the public interests: that, under the Public Bodies (Admissions to Meetings) Act 1960, the public be excluded on the grounds of the confidential nature of the business about to be transacted which involves the likely disclosure of exempt information. The public and press to withdraw from the meeting during consideration of detailed discussion regarding: nominations for the 2020 Honorary Burgess award.
The Committee may consider it appropriatte to consider the following resolution should they consier that any discussion would be prejudicial to the public interests: that, under the Public Bodies (Admissions to Meetings) Act 1960, the public be excluded on the grounds of the confidential nature of the business about to be transacted which involves the likely disclosure of exempt information. The public and press to withdraw from the meeting during consideration of detailed discussion regarding: nominations for the 2020 Honorary Burgess Award.
NOMINATIONS FOR 2020 HONORARY BURGESS AWARD
To consider nominations submitted to date for the 2020 Honorary Burgess of Leighton-Linslade award (information attached).
(as the closing date for nominations is 31 October 2019, additional nominations may be tabled at the meeting).
The Sub-Committee received and discussed five Honorary Burgess nominations. After discussion the Sub-Committee agreed to put forward three nominations, with a request for more information to be obtained for two, before proceeding for approval by Policy and Finance Committee. Prior to consideration by committee in January 2020, consent would now be sought from nominees to proceed with the award procedure.
RECOMMENDED to the Policy and Finance Committee to consider recommending to Council approval of three nominations for the 2020 Honorary Burgess award, subject to further detail being received and consent obtained from nominees.