Agenda item

Working Groups

Members to be updated from the Working Group held in connection with the Ward Member Scheme.

Minutes:

Members of the Committee were circulated with the notes from the Ward Member Scheme Working Group that had taken place since the last Committee.   Following the Cabinet meeting held on 9th November 2017 the Communities and Wellbeing Overview and Scrutiny Committee had been asked to look at various issues in relation to having a new Ward Member pilot scheme.

 

A copy of a draft application form was also circulated to Members. 

 

A question was asked in relation to the notes of the Working Group and it was stated that any recommendations from the Working Group had to be agreed by the Communities and Wellbeing Overview and Scrutiny Committee before being made available to the wider public.  A further comment was made about the use of £56,000 of reserve money to fund the pilot.  It was stated that no decision had been made with regard to the proposed funding, it was part of the budget and that would not be agreed until the Council meeting on 1st March 2018.

 

The Chairman then went through the issues considered by the Working Group.

 

·       The name of the scheme to be the Ward Member Grant Scheme.

·      Payment from the fund would be by BACS or cheque no payment in cash would be given.

·      Restrictions and guidance in relation to the scheme would be shown on the back of the application form.

·      Organisations could apply for a scheme once per calendar year

·      Ward Councillors within the same ward or in adjacent wards could use their funding collectively if they wished to do so.

·      It was suggested that funding not spent could be put back into the Community Fund scheme however, as this was a pilot scheme any unspent allocations would be considered when the scheme was reviewed and this included whether the money could be rolled over to the following year.

·      Organisations would receive the money direct with the Ward Member being notified that the funding had been allocated.

·      Organisation would receive a certificate showing the amount of Member funding.

·      Revenue funding was discussed but it was felt that there could be adverse longer term consequences in relation to revenue funding and it was considered not relevant for the small amounts of funding being allocated through the Member fund.

 

It was asked if the application form could include a box for the Ward Members signature.  It was confirmed that a Ward Member signature would be required.

 

A further comment was made about Working Groups and their notes and it was confirmed that notes and recommendations from any Working Group had to be ratified by the relevant Committee at a public meeting before they were made available to the wider public.  Subject to permission by the Chairman of the Committee a Member could speak at a Committee but it was at the Chairman’s discretion. 

 

The Chairman asked if Members were happy with the application form and the responses from the Working Group subject to the inclusion of the Ward Members signature on the application form.  This was proposed, seconded and on being put to the vote agreed.  Councillor Baxter asked that his vote against the proposal be recorded.

 

Recommendation:

 

That the circulated application form with the inclusion of the Ward Members signature box is agreed together with the following:

 

·       The name of the scheme to be the Ward Member Grant Scheme.

·      Payment from the fund would be by BACS or cheque no payment in cash would be given.

·      Restrictions and guidance in relation to the scheme would be shown on the back of the application form.

·      Organisations could apply for a scheme once per calendar year

·      Ward Councillors within the same ward or in adjacent wards could use their funding collectively if they wished to do so.

·      It was suggested that funding not spent could be put back into the Community Fund scheme however, as this was a pilot scheme any unspent allocations would be considered when the scheme was reviewed and this included whether the money could be rolled over to the following year.

·      Organisations would receive the money direct with the Ward Member being notified that the funding had been allocated.

·      Organisation would receive a certificate showing the amount of Member funding.

·      Revenue funding was discussed but it was felt that there could be adverse longer term consequences in relation to revenue funding and it was considered not relevant for the small amounts of funding being allocated through the Member fund.