Agenda and draft minutes

Grants & Awards Task and Finish Group
Monday, 14th October, 2019 10.45 am

Venue: Meeting Room, The White House, Hockliffe Street, Leighton Buzzard LU7 1HD

Contact: Committee Officer 01525 631920 

Items
No. Item

1.

APPOINTMENT OF CHAIR

Minutes:

It was proposed and seconded that Councillor J M Freeman be                          appointed as Chairman.  There were no further nominations.

 

RESOLVED to appoint Councillor J M Freeman as Chair of the Grants and Awards Task and Finish Group.

2.

APPOINTMENT OF VICE CHAIR

Minutes:

It was proposed that a Vice Chair only need be appointed if it was considered that a second meeting was necessary.

 

3.

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.

 

Minutes:

Apologies for absence had been received from Councillor T Morris (substituted by Councillor C Palmer).

4.

DECLARATIONS OF INTERESTS

(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).

Minutes:

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.  As the Group was only considering the processes involved rather than actual applications/nominations, it was agreed that no declarations were necessary.

5.

QUESTIONS FROM THE PUBLIC (3 minutes per person; 15 minutes maximum)

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).

 

Minutes:

No members of the public were present.

6.

GRANTS REVIEW pdf icon PDF 113 KB

To receive information on the current General Grant and Guaranteed Grant schemes (attached) and to consider whether to recommend to the Grants and Awards Sub-Committee that any changes be made with effect from 1 April 2020. 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Task and Finish Group had received in advance of the meeting a copy of existing Town Council guidelines and application forms for both General Grants and Guaranteed Grants. The Group also received a covering report outlining existing budgets and arrangements. Procedures for both schemes had last been reviewed in December 2015 and it was recommended that a review take place prior to inviting applications in 2020.

 

It was agreed that guidelines for both schemes should be updated to ensure consistency of wording and to link to current Council policy documents (i.e. new Five Year Plan). It was also agreed that the grant report presented to committee should indicate any grant applications which supported the Town Council’s objectives as set out in its Five Year Plan.

 

RECOMMENDED to the Grants and Awards Sub-Committee to recommend to the Policy and Finance Committee that:

 

(i)         No changes be made to grant criteria and guidelines for 2020 onwards, beyond addressing consistency in wording and bringing 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)      That no change be made to the annual budget of £10,000 for General Grants at this time (demand to be monitored).

(v)       That the budget for Guaranteed Grants for 2020-21 be increased to a maximum of £35,000 (to be reduced thereafter if not fully allocated to approved applicants).

7.

COMMUNITY AWARDS pdf icon PDF 96 KB

To receive information on Awards (attached) and to consider recommendation/s to put forward to the Grants and Awards Sub-Committee in respect of awards from the municipal year 2020-21.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Task Group received a covering report regarding the existing Honorary Burgess award scheme, recent changes in legislation regarding civic honours and advice received from both the National Association of Local Councils and the Society of Local Council Clerks.

 

Whilst limitations were clear regarding civic honours, it was felt that the Council could exercise the General Power of Competence to continue to run a community volunteer award scheme, as this was something an individual could generally do and which was not precluded by other legislation.

 

Following discussion, it was felt that some minor amendments should be made to the criteria for the existing Honorary Burgess scheme, that the award should continue to be presented at the annual civic service to maximise public awareness and that the nature of the presentation should be different than the current engraved enamelled medal.

 

Following discussion on potential naming conventions for a new scheme, agreement was reached on the name: Leighton-Linslade Community Volunteer awards.

 

RECOMMENDED to the Grants and Awards Sub-Committee to recommend to the Policy and 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.

 

8.

NEXT MEETING

To consider whether a further meeting is required on 21 October 2019 at 1100 hours in order to finalise recommendations in respect of agenda items 6 and 7, prior to the Grants and Awards Sub-Committee meeting on 4 November 2019.

Minutes:

It was agreed that no further meetings of the Task and Finish Group were required. Officers were thanked for their work on both schemes.