Agenda and minutes

Rural and Communities Overview and Scrutiny Committee
Thursday, 13th June, 2019 2.00 pm

Venue: Newton Room, The Guildhall Arts Centre, St Peter's Hill, Grantham. NG31 6PZ

Items
No. Item

1.

Membership

    The Committee to be notified of any substitute members.

    Minutes:

    The Chairman invited all those present to give a brief introduction.

     

    The Committee were then notified that Councillor Bisnauthsing was substituting for Councillor Wheeler and Councillor Linda Wootten was substituting for Councillor Kaberry-Brown.

2.

Apologies

3.

Disclosure of Interest

4.

Consideration of the Remit and Work Programme of the Rural and Communities Overview and Scrutiny Committee

    Minutes:

    The Chairman wished to place on record his thanks to the previous Chairman of the Rural Overview and Scrutiny Committee Bob Sampson.

     

    The Chairman circulated to Members of the Committee a list which showed the remit of the Cabinet Member for Communities, Health and Wellbeing and the Cabinet Member for Housing.  He also wanted to add the delivery of street cleansing in rural areas, loneliness, leisure provision for rural areas and refuse.

     

    One Member asked if a paper could be submitted to a future meeting of the Committee on the turnaround of properties.

     

    Another Member referred to the reduction in Post Offices in rural areas together with the lack of cash points and bus routes.  Would it be possible to ask someone in to speak on these subjects?  

     

    A further comment was made about the merging of three doctor’s surgeries in Stamford and the problems this was causing.  The Chairman indicated that that he would contact the Chief Executive Officer for the North West Anglian Trust to see what was happening. He also advised that Councillor Brailsford was the Lincolnshire County Councillor who sat on the Trust Board.

     

    The issue of reduced services for rural villages was again raised particularly in relation to lack of bus services.  Visits to particular areas in the district had been undertaken under the Rural OSC and it was suggested that this be continued.  The Chairman indicated that if a topic was specific to a certain area then looking to visit that area would be considered.

     

    Housing management was another item raised especially in connection to Liberty Gas and their attitudes.  The Chairman of the Governance and Audit Committee informed the Committee that a verbal update would be given at the next meeting of the Governance and Audit Committee and it was confirmed that a report on frozen condensate pipes was due to come to next meeting of Rural and Communities Committee.    Reference was also made to the Cabinet Forward Plan and items that maybe of interest to the Committee to scrutinize in the future.

     

    Following the suggestions made by the Committee the Chairman suggested that he and the Assistant Chief Executive Housing compile a draft work programme and circulate it with the next agenda.

     

    > Action Note

     

    The Chairman to meet with the Assistant Chief Executive Housing to compile a draft work programme for circulation with the next agenda.

5.

Crowd Funding pdf icon PDF 344 KB

    Report of the Deputy Leader of the Council.

    Report to follow

    Minutes:

    Members had been circulated with a report on Crowd Funding.  Crowd Funding had most commonly been seen for small business start-ups rather than civic initiatives however there was now an opportunity to utilize this funding approach for community ventures.  This had been very successful in urban areas such as Manchester, Dorset, Liverpool and Plymouth who had seen funding available for community –based projects extended up to 300%.  

     

    The Council currently awarded a budget to Lincolnshire Community and Voluntary Service (CVS) to administer a community fund for the district.  The Community Fund provided grants up to £10,000 for community initiatives and had a very positive impact on communities.  Crowd Funding was a different initiative but one which would complement the Community Fund.  It was noted that a review of the Community Fund should be included as a future work programme item for the Committee.

     

    >Action Note

     

    Include the Community Fund as a work programme item.

     

    The online platform called Spacehive had provided Crowd funding services to civic and community initiatives for eight years, another established site was kickstarter.com but that was more in relation to entrepreneurs.   Spacehive was backed by a number of national enterprises who provided additional funding to support community initiatives.  Spacehive would go into communities to promote initiatives using on community based projects, workshops and focus groups.  Stakeholder groups would look at funding proposals and if worthy of support forward the initiative to the Spacehive platform.    A fictitious example was given to the Committee of how crowd funding could be used to help place shaping which would benefit businesses.   The funding being asked to be released by the Governance and Audit Committee was £30k, which was made up of £10k to access the platform and £20k to be used for the community engagement to stimulate schemes working in focus groups and taking project sponsors.  There were two rounds during a year to promote the interests registered.  The contract was a three year rolling contract and the Assistant Director Resources stressed that a complete legal assessment would be made before a contract was entered into.  This would be the first time that crowd funding had been undertaken in a rural area which was why it was proposed that a one year pilot scheme be considered.  A review was proposed to take place after nine months to see if the initiative was successful.  A review at this time would enable notice to be given if it was not successful.

     

    The recommendation before the Committee was for the Committee to recommend to the Government and Audit Committee to make an allocation of £30k from year end balances to fund the Spacehive platform and that a further allocation of £70k be made from year end balances to contribute towards community interest ventures through the Spacehive platform.  A Non Key would be made to enter into a contract with Spacehive subject to the funding being released.

     

    A discussion followed about how the fund would work and what evidence was available that this was  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.

6.

Close of meeting