Consultation on funding up for discussion

Local voluntary and community sector groups in Derbyshire are to be asked to help shape their future funding arrangements.

Early last year, Derbyshire County Council’s Cabinet agreed to undertake a review of the grants it gives to Voluntary and Community Sector (VCS) infrastructure organisations.

The council say it was with a view to developing a new, fairer more consistent way of allocating funding to support the council’s ambitions and priorities.

By talking to the infrastructure groups – umbrella organisations which offer information, support, guidance, training and funding advice to the local charitable sector – as well as health partners and district and borough councils, the council say it has developed future funding principles based on:

  • Fairness and consistency
  • Outcomes (measurable achievements)
  • Long term sustainability.

Next Thursday (January 16), the county council’s Cabinet is being asked to agree to start a 12-week consultation on the future funding arrangements for these VCS infrastructure organisations.

Cllr Carol Hart, DCC's cabinet member for health and communities, said: "We’ve already been out talking to infrastructure organisations to find out what they need from us to carry out their work in a sustainable way. Based on their feedback, we’ve come up with some ideas and we’d now like to hear from as many people as possible on what they think of our proposals."

The county council gives grants of more than £3 million a year to local voluntary and charity groups carrying out valuable work for Derbyshire residents.

A proportion of the funding supports the infrastructure organisations – often local Council for Voluntary Service (CVS) groups which give information, support, guidance, training and funding advice to local voluntary and community sector groups.

The authority say new proposals could see grants given out over four years instead of one, distributed along borough and district boundary lines and key performance indicators introduced.

Councillor Hart added: “As an Enterprising Council one of our key priorities is to create empowered and self-sufficient local communities. Supporting the voluntary and community sector to grow and thrive is central to achieving this.

“The way we fund organisations has developed organically over time which has led to a fragmented approach. By developing a new funding framework, the community and voluntary sector will have a better idea of what we expect from our funding.

“The sector is also asking us to look at providing funding over the longer term to give it stability.”

If Cabinet agrees the recommendations, a formal consultation will be launched on 24 January, 2020, with a report due back before Cabinet in June.

The county council say it is also looking to create a more consistent approach to the wider grant funding of the voluntary and charitable sector, with a further report due to be discussed by Cabinet in the spring.

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