Agenda and minutes

UK Shared Prosperity Fund and Rural England Prosperity Fund Board - Wednesday, 8th February, 2023 2.00 pm

Venue: Council Chamber - South Kesteven House, St. Peter's Hill, Grantham. NG31 6PZ. View directions


No. Item


Appointment of Chairman and Vice-Chairman

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    The Democratic Services Manager opened the meeting and welcomed Members before requesting any nominations for the appointment of Chairman and Vice-Chairman for the meeting today.


    The Leader of the Council formally proposed Councillor Philip Knowles as leader of the Opposition to chair the meeting.


    There were no further nominations put forward by the Board.


    The proposal was seconded and AGREED.


    The Chairman confirmed that the Board were required to fulfil a critical role in utilising the funds allocated to maximise the benefits across the whole of the community, according to the conditions set down.  The timeframe for Year 1 was very tight and the Council should concentrate on looking forward rather than dwelling on how it came to this position.


    The Chairman asked the Board for nominations for a Vice-Chairman.


    The Leader of the Council proposed Councillor Helen Crawford.  There were no further nominations.  It was seconded and AGREED.




Apologies for Absence

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    An apology for absence was received from Councillor Nikki Manterfield.


Declarations of Interests

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    The Leader of the Council clarified that all Members had their standing declarations published on the Council website.  These confirmed any other public sector bodies sat on, such as Parish Councils or the County Council.  At a point during the meeting where an application is considered for that Body, it was to be appropriate that the Member leave the meeting at that point.


    The Director for Growth and Culture declared an interest as a Governor at Grantham College.


    A Member asked for clarification of the process when the agenda item on the Town and Parish Community Fund was considered as many Members had roles within both towns and parishes.


    The Chairman informed that a close interest was to be declared but that all Members had an interest in their towns on behalf of their residents.



Terms of Reference pdf icon PDF 205 KB

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    The Terms of Reference were noted within the agenda and were as amended at the Full Council meeting on 26 January 2023.


    The Board voted and AGREED to accept the Terms of Reference.


Agreement of Year 1 UKSPF Project List pdf icon PDF 124 KB

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    The Chairman informed the Board that they were to go through the list of projects in turn and consider them.


    A Member commented that they were disappointed at the limited time for consultation and that some Members were unaware of the projects on the list prior to the agenda for the meeting of Full Council on 26 January 2023.  The Member suggested that the refurbishment of Deepings Leisure Centre should have been included.


    The Leader of the Council welcomed the £3.9 million funding to be received from the Government although it was slightly more prescriptive than hoped and initial ideas may have been different if there had been no structure.  A number of the projects were mentioned within the recent consultation sessions.  The Leader suggested that more information be sought on some projects.  One particular project requested an extensive amount of money and there should be an opportunity for the group bidding for that funding, to present their case to the Board.


    The Leader suggested that Members needed to agree a draft bidding form for community groups and individuals to submit and then a further meeting was to be held in a fortnight for the submissions to be considered.  This was to show a professional process that was open and transparent.


    A Member commented on the short timescale and asked for clarity of the deadlines.


    The Assistant Director of Finance confirmed that funds had to be committed by 31 March 2023 and spent and invoiced by 28 April 2023 to be eligible for the Year 1 funding.


    Members who had submitted requests for additional funds for specific projects were invited to have their submissions heard under provision of Section 5 of the Terms of Reference of the Board.


    The Cabinet Member for Waste Services thanked the Leader for his comments.  The Cabinet Member explained he was present in his role as Deputy Mayor of Grantham and was looking to make a bid on behalf of the Gravity Fields Festival.  He added that a timetable and bidding documents needed to be agreed as soon as possible.


    Councillor Paul Fellows welcomed the consideration of all submissions.


    Submission by Councillor Paul Fellows


    Cllr Fellows’ proposal effected only year one with adjustments to years two and three being made should it be successful:


    Connected Towns: Investment to change from £244,000 to £150,000 and these funds to be concentrated on upgrading and installation of CCTV and if viable develop quality connectivity for businesses.


    Lincs Inspire: Raise to £40,000 in year one, £10,000 to each of our four towns and satellite villages.


    Town & Parish Community: raise to £80,000 in year one. Gives each of our towns £20,000


    Culture, Arts & Heritage Fund: Raise to £44,000 pounds in year one.


    Connected Towns: There is no need nor rationale for 40 public Wi-Fi hubs. Don’t do it.


    Lincs Inspire: If we want to improve the lives of young people do it. Don’t just give it lip service.  We have to support them financially.


    Town & Parish: Put money where it  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.


Town and Parish Community Fund

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    To include, whilst referring to the Year 1 tracker attached at the previous item:


    ·       An update on Year 1 funding allocation and eligible projects and groups

    ·       Agreement of Year 1 eligible projects and groups criteria

    ·       Agreement of the Year 1 selection process

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    The agenda item was to include, whilst referring to the Year 1 tracker attached at the previous item:


    • An update on Year 1 funding allocation and eligible projects and groups

    • Agreement of Year 1 eligible projects and groups criteria

    • Agreement of the Year 1 selection process


    Councillor Cleaver commented that he was disappointed that no written report has been provided for items 6 and 7 on which he could comment in advance.


    Members commented that the name of the fund caused confusion and other names should be considered for easy recognition by all.


    The Director of Growth and Culture offered to distribute a template document for Members to consider.


    The Leader suggested the bidding form should be simple and appropriate for all bids and available through the Council’s website.


    Clarity was sought on whether there was an upper limit when bidding for funds.


    The Assistant Director of Finance recommended that an upper limit should be considered by the Board.  The Officer confirmed that generally a purchase over £10,000 was to be considered capital expenditure.  If intending to match funds to a parish precept, as the next year’s figure had been set, this could not be done until the year 2024/2025.


    Members raised the following points:


    ·            Each bid required a judgement to be made and criteria was essential to the process, in particular a maximum fund allowance.

    ·            The bidding process was to be as simple as possible and it was essential that the fund reached as many people as possible.

    ·            Residents in rural communities could sometimes feel cut off and health and wellbeing were of particular importance.


    It was proposed, seconded and AGREED that the meeting be extended by 30 minutes.


    Members raised the following points during discussion:


    ·            The bidding categories needed to be expanded.

    ·            Was there a limit per area or per number of residents on the number of bids to be accepted?

    ·            If a maximum bid request amount were put in place, this would possibly encourage bids of a higher amount.


    The Chairman clarified that judgement was to be made by the Board Members on sharing out the funds fairly and widely across the whole of the district.


    The Leader agreed with the Chairman on removing the maximum limit for funding.  He further proposed removing the minimum limit for applications as this was to encourage smaller bids.  £100 could have a positive impact on the right project. 


    A Member asked what the deadline for submitting bids was.



    A Member asked that an alternative to online applications was offered to ensure inclusivity and that the bidding form be circulated to every councillor for distribution within their areas.


    The Chairman confirmed it was to be 24 hours before the Board held their next meeting.


    The bidding form template was proposed, seconded and AGREED subject to the following amendments:


    ·            The minimum and maximum amount for funding requests were removed.

    ·            The bidding form should ask applicants to state what the wider community benefit of their project would be.




Agreement of the Year Two Project Selection Process

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    The Director for Growth and Culture suggested to Members that once year 1 funding was complete, the team would like to take projects to the Local Economic Forum to look at, before coming back before the UK Shared Prosperity Fund Board with suggestions from across the district.


    It was proposed, seconded and AGREED.



Work Programme pdf icon PDF 79 KB

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    The Chairman confirmed that the Work Programme was to be agreed at the next meeting.


    The Democratic Services Manager clarified a date was to be set for approximately two weeks’ time before purdah and to accommodate the publishing of minutes and agenda papers within the timescales set. 


    The Head of Economic Development added that the Government required evidence of the spending of funds by mid-March 2023 as a further consideration.


    A Member asked if it was possible to join future meetings online.


    The Board were informed that Members could observe remotely but had to be present within the Council Chamber to vote as Members of the Board.


    The Chairman confirmed that there was to be a private element to the discussion of application selection but voting would take place within the public domain.



Any other business which the Chairman, by reason of special circumstances decides is urgent

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    There was no other business.


Close of meeting

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    The Chairman closed the meeting at 17:40.