Updating my previous article Derby City Council Voluntary Sector Grant Aid: Reports of cuts “have been greatly exaggerated” the Cabinet will ratify on the 18th March that all Grants will be extended to 31 March 2016 at the 2014/15 levels.
To allow sufficient time to develop jointly agreed service specifications for the grant bidding round,consider and evaluate responses from the sector, it is proposed to extend the current grant agreements with the sector to the end of March 2016. This will bring the funding duration for these agreements in line with the Arts grants to be considered in the financial matters report, thereby delivering a consistent approach across the third sector
The current funding agreements for the services listed in Appendix 2 come to an end in September 2015. The Council and SDCCG have identified that VCF grant funded
services provide effective, value for money support for their priorities.
The focus of the updated outcomes has been to maximise the independence of vulnerable adults in the community, reduce demand upon statutory services and promote the independence and resilience of individuals and communities. The extension to the current agreements will allow time for a planned bidding round
with the sector
This is a very practical move as the saving in 2015/16 was very small at £50k , and the full year is only £100k. The uncertainty that this created across a sector that depends on a lot of volunteering and goodwill is unnecessary, and was counterproductive for the broad range of vulnerable service users in the City.
Accepting that the consultation exercise needs to be completed, although I do wonder the value of some of the meetings, having been present at a few of them, then I trust that the Council will be prepared to provide at least a 3 year visibility of grant support. Without this no one can plan sensibly for future years, and deliver an even more cost-effective solution that benefits everyone.