To consider a report by the Head of Stronger Communities which provides an update on the budget position for the Wellbeing Fund, Youth Activity Fund, Capital Budget, as well as the Community Infrastructure Levy Budget for 2020/21.
The report also sets out details of organisations funded by the Community Committee and how their project delivery will be affected by the Coronavirus pandemic.
The Head of Stronger Communities submitted a report which provided an update on the budget position for the Wellbeing Fund, Youth Activity Fund, Capital Budget, as well as the Community Infrastructure Levy Budget for 2020/21. The report also included an update on organisations funded by the Community Committee and how their project delivery would be affected by the Coronavirus pandemic.
Members were provided with an update on projects that had been funded through the £10,000 set aside by this Committee from their available Wellbeing Budget 2020/21 (across all wards) to tackle the effects of the Coronavirus pandemic.
Members were also informed of the work that had been taking place through their local Volunteer Hubs, together with an update on the work of the wider Communities Team and what they had been doing to support some of the newer communities and communities of interest in the area.
The Localities Officer, presented the report and responded to Members comments and queries.
Detailed discussion ensued on the contents of the report together with the appendices which included:
· Available funding for the current financial year.
· Clarification around some of the projects seeking financial assistance.
(i) To note the details Wellbeing Budget Position (Table No.1 referred)
(ii) That the following Wellbeing Projects be determined as follows:
(Prior to consideration of the following projects Councillor D Cohen declared a personal interest in respect of the Santa’s visit application, as an organiser of the project, he did not take part in the discussion or voting thereon)
Amount Granted (£)
Wetherby Christmas Lights
LCC Communities Team
Moortown West Residents Association
Alwoodley SIDS – Relocation
LCC Communities Team
(iii) To note that since the last Consultative Forum on 14th September 2020, the following project had been considered and approved by DDN:
a) Boston Spa Christmas Lights
b) Bramham Christmas Lights
c) Clifford Interpretation Board
d) The Tride Youth Group
e) Walton Christmas Lights
f) Wetherby Bridge Lights
g) Stone Court CCTV
It was reported that the following projects had been declined:
Christmas Activity Boxes
(iv) To note details of COVID 19 position (Table 2)
(v) To note the details of the Youth Activities Fund (YAF) position (Table 3)
(vi) To note there were no Youth Activity Projects requiring determination
(vii) To note the activity within the Community Skips Budget (Table No.4 referred)
(viii) To note the details of the Capital Budget (Table No.5 referred)
(ix) To note the details of the Community Infrastructure Levy Budget (Paragraph 32 referred)
Receipt of Additional Funding
Members were informed of the receipt of an email from Councillor Debra Coupar, Deputy Leader and Executive Board Member for Communities. The communication explained that an additional £330k of funding from the COVID-19 Tier 3 fund had been secured for wellbeing purposes.
It was reported that the funding would be allocated at £10k per ward and could be used by committees in a flexible way at their discretion to best address local needs and vulnerabilities related to the virus in their wards. This additional £10k was new money and should be spent before the end of the financial year.
In the discussion that followed Members welcomed the receipt of this additional funding, but sought clarification on the following:
· If the monies were not spent within the required timescales could it be clawed back
· If it was to be clawed back, would it be returned to an LCC central pot or would it be returned to the government
· If the Leeds area was to move from Tier 3 to Tier 2 would the monies be returned
· Could the monies be used in supporting local businesses
· How would the availability of this additional funding be advertised
The Head of Stronger Communities said further clarification would be sought on the issue of clawback and possible return of monies if outside tier 3, Member would be notified separately.
In terms of what purposes could the monies be used for, it was explained that this was at the discretion of Members, however, Members must ensure there was an audit trail outlining how the funding request was seeking to address a locally identifiable need linked to the pandemic. The funding should not be used to fund activity which ordinarily would come out of the Well Being or YAF budgets.
On the issue of advertising it was explained there was no central marketing or press releases planned and it was for each Community Committee to determine how the funding should be advertised.
The Chair said this was a significant chunk of money and required spending, possibly assisting local groups who had incurred additional costs due to covid 19 restrictions.