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Additional Consultation on the Grants Programme beyond 2017

 
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Summary

The London local authorities have agreed to participate in a statutory Grants Scheme which enables boroughs through London Councils to tackle high-priority social need where this is better done at pan-London level. The existing grants programme, delivered under that Scheme, commissions third sector organisations to work with disadvantaged Londoners to make real improvements in their lives. The programme delivers a number of projects operating within a framework of overarching principles and identified priorities which are determined by the London Councils Leaders’ Committee upon the recommendation of the London Councils Grants Committee. The Grants Committee is otherwise generally responsible for the operation of the Scheme and grant-making decisions. The current £10 million a year programme of projects was agreed by the Grants Committee and Leaders’ Committee in February 2013 and will operate until March 2017.

The Grants Programme is currently being reviewed to determine its future beyond March 2017.

This further consultation exercise builds on a previous consultation on the London Councils Grants Programme conducted between July and October 2015. It will further assist London Councils to decide what the priorities of the Grants Programme should be from April 2017, building on the existing evidence that has been used to formulate the in principle position outlined below. This further consultation will also inform London Councils’ decisions on any future budget and allocation of resources to projects that deliver the agreed priorities.

The review to-date has confirmed that there is majority stakeholder support for a pan-London grants programme operating in accordance with the current principles.  Further, the evidence mostly shows that the current four year programme (2013-2017) is delivering for Londoners, within the limits of the £10m per annum programme.

London Councils Leaders’ Committee, at its meeting on 8 December 2015, considered a report on the Grants Review 2017/21. At this point in the review the Leaders’ Committee is minded to continue the Grants Programme beyond April 2017 focused on the following priorities:

Priority 1 Combating Homelessness

Priority 2 Tackling Sexual and Domestic Violence

Priority 3 Tackling Poverty through Employment (European Social Fund match funded)

Further explanation of these three priority areas is set out briefly in the following questionnaire.

This further consultation is undertaken in the context of further announcements about the funding position of local authorities over the next five years.  The Comprehensive Spending Review, announced by the Chancellor of the Exchequer on 25 November 2015, outlined reductions in core funding to councils of some 30% over the course of the forthcoming Spending Review period.[1]  This will be in addition to average core funding reductions of 40% over the last five-year period.  This will require some very hard decisions by councils about relative priorities in terms of the use of increasingly scarce resources when serving local communities. It was against that backdrop that the Leaders’ Committee was minded at its meeting on 8 December to indicate that it was unlikely that the existing Priority 4, focused on Capacity Building of The Third Sector, could be considered as a priority for the Grants Programme going forward.

The consultation, which ran between July and October 2015, together with other evidence from the operation of the current programme and stakeholders, has indicated that acting collectively to address London-wide priorities with preventative commissions through a London Grants Programme has been effective, provided value for money and delivered positive outcomes for people with the protected characteristics under the Equality Act 2010. An analysis of the equalities impacts of the existing grants programme was provided with the consultation that took place between July and October 2015.  This analysis was revised having regard to the consultation responses and that analysis can be found here .  This follow up consultation will further inform consideration of the equalities implications of potential changes to the Programme.

Subject to the outcome of this consultation, London Councils will make decisions in March 2016 about the shape of a future Grants Programme to operate from April 2017.  It is planned to invite applications for the delivery of new projects in the summer of 2016. Following assessment of these applications, recommendations will be made to elected members on projects which would commence on 1 April 2017, or as soon as soon as practicable after that.

The timetable for this consultation, and, subject to the relevant approvals, the process for commissioning services is:

  • Launch of consultation: Thursday 17 December 2015
  • Close of consultation: 5pm Friday, 22 January 2016
  • Recommendations to, and decisions of, Grants Committee and the Leaders’ Committee on the scope of the future grants programme, including the priorities to be adopted – March 2016
  • In March 2016, advise Grants Committee on potential activities within any new priorities
  • Between March 2016 and summer, develop detailed specifications to be agreed by the Grants Committee
  • Invite proposals in summer 2016 from organisations to deliver services set out in the specifications
  • In winter 2016, proposals assessed against the service specifications and recommendations made to members which will be subject to resourcing levels
  • By 31 January 2017 the annual grants budget for 2017/18 will have been agreed, and an indicative budget for the remainder of the programme will have been agreed
  • New services to start on 1 April 2017, or as soon as soon as practicable after that.

How to complete this consultation

This consultation includes a number of questions, some of which ask you to summarise your reasons for giving the response/responses that you do. It may take some time to complete. However, you can save your partially completed responses at any time, and come back to where you left off at a later date to complete. To do this you will need to register here.

To save your responses please press the "save draft" icon at the bottom of each screen. You can also use the "previous" button at the bottom of each screen so that you can go back to review/amend previous answers should you so wish.

When you have completed the questions, you will need to submit your response by clicking on a "submit" button. If you do not do this, your response will not be received and will therefore not be considered. Once you have submitted your response, you will be unable to review/change your answers.

Please ensure you have responded to this consultation by 5pm Friday 22 January 2016. Please be advised that responses received after this deadline will not be considered.

Finally, please note that information provided in response to this consultation, including personal information, may be published in public committee papers or disclosed in accordance with the access to information regimes (these are primarily the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and the Data Protection Act 1998)

If you have any queries about the consultation, or need the survey in a different format such as large print, please contact: Katy Makepeace-Gray at London Councils on 020 7934 9800 or [email protected]  


[1] Core Funding is defined as Revenue Support Grant and retained business rates.