Equality Impact Assessment

Name of the proposal : Adult Services Grants to Voluntary and Community Organisations 2013-14

Department : Adult Services

Name of lead officer : Jane Cleeve

Publication date: 17/01/2013

Review date: 30/03/2014

Departmental Manager Approval by : Cllr H F Hindson

Departmental Manager Approval date : 07/01/2013

 

 

Main purpose and aims of the policy, plan or project

The purpose of this Equality Impact Assessment is to consider whether changes to the Adult Services grant programme budget in 2013-14 will have an impact on the voluntary sector organisations recommended for grant funding. In 2013/14 there has been no reduction in the programme budget and the recommendations regarding grant awards in 2013/14 are expected to have minimal impact on voluntary and community organisations.

The Adult Services department maintains an annual grants programme. Grants are awarded to voluntary and community groups who apply for funding to the authority. The principle purpose of the grants programme is to support these organisations in activity that contributes to Corporate priorities and priorities of the Adult Services department. In order for organisations to qualify for consideration for grant funding they must first meet the following criteria:

The proposed service or activity must support one or more of the Corporate priorities, i.e. Hampshire Safer and More Secure for All, Maximising Wellbeing and Enhancing our Quality of Place;

The proposed service or activity must support Adult Services Priorities, in particular Personalisation;

The services, projects or activities are for people living in Hampshire and the organisation has a clear management structure within its constitution

Main elements of the policy, plan or project

Hampshire County Council Adult Services Department maintains an annual programme to award grant funding to Voluntary and Community Organisations providing services and activities to vulnerable people and their carers in Hampshire.

All grant applications have been considered in a staged process, initially for recommendation by senior operational and commissioning managers and then at a grant panel where applications and recommendations were considered within the context of the available budget. The grants panel consisted of the Grants Officer, Senior Adult Services Officers and the Deputy Equality and Inclusion Manager. All grant applications have been subject to scrutiny on need for the service vis-ŗ-vis the Departmentís strategic commissioning objectives and priorities, as well as financial need.

The grant programme is linked to identified local priorities and these are clearly publicised, explained and are flexible to suit locally identified needs.

The focus of the grant programme remains on supporting the sustainability of existing projects rather than focusing on new innovation. 22% of the overall budget was recommended to fund new projects. A significant proportion of this newly funded activity are projects that support Autism, a key priority for Adult Services

In terms of the Adult Services grant programme for 2013/14 the priorities have been linked to strategies which have been developed through consultation with Hampshire residents, in particular the Hampshire Model of Personalisation.

There has been continued pressure placed on the grants programme budget in terms of the number of applications received for 2013-14. The programme has been significantly oversubscribed, with 139 applications and over £1.4 million worth of applications received. This pressure has inevitably impacted on the recommendations and as such some organisations who have received grant funding in the previous year have been recommended a reduced level of funding in the forthcoming financial year.

All applications were initially assessed against the programmeís criteria. This included whether the proposed service/activity linked to the corporate and departmental priorities, the organisationís governance procedures, the level of free reserves held by organisations and plans for future sustainability.

Due to the high level of applications, those which most strongly linked to departmental objectives were given priority. The objectives highlight the importance of early intervention and preventative services to empower people and communities to maintain independence, and the value of partnership working to provide services, e.g. the links between voluntary action and departmental activities such as Community Innovations Teams.

Continued support to the voluntary and community sector through a targeted grants programme remains critical. Areas which are identified in the Joint Strategic Needs Assessment as experiencing multiple deprivation were also considered although the extent to which significant priority is given is dependant on the number of applications received from organisations operating in these areas. Applications providing services to people who may have difficulty accessing mainstream services, e.g. people with sensory loss or Black Minority and Ethnic communities or other traditionally excluded groups were also given added consideration.

Full consideration has been given to the potential impact of the recommendations to reduce or not award Adult Services grant funding in 2013-14 to organisations awarded funding in the previous year. All organisations awarded grant funding in 2012-13 have been recommended grant funding in 2013-14.

Those organisations which have been unsuccessful in their applications will be offered information regarding other potential funding options.

The Adult Services grant programme is involved in the Corporate Services Grant Review, which is exploring how the Councilís grant programmes can become more effective and user friendly. It is also updating the application forms to enable applicants to consider how their services and activities are accessible to protected groups identified in the Equality Act 2010. The Equality Impact Assessment for the Corporate Services Grant Review will reflect this.

Detailed Assessment

Age: Impact : No Impact
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Disability: Impact : No Impact
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Faith: Impact : No Impact
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Gender: Impact : No Impact
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Transgender: Impact : No Impact
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Race: Impact : No Impact
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Sexual Orientation: Impact : No Impact
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Marriage / civil partnership: Impact : No Impact
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Pregnancy & maternity: Impact : No Impact
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Other factors: Impact : No Impact
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Details of why some groups are low and/or no impact

All organisations submit a profile of intended users, including age profiles and range of disabilities that their service/activity is able to support.

The programme is intended to fund vulnerable adults and the applications are assessed in terms of how well they link with the departmental priorities, in particular the Hampshire Model of Personalisation. The programme also gives higher consideration to new applications which operate in areas identified within the Joint Strategic Needs Assessment.

The programme focuses on improving access to services and activities for vulnerable or marginalised groups. The aim is therefore to have a positive impact on their lives.

There is no proposed reduction in the grant programme budget for 2013-14. This significantly reduces the negative impact on the Voluntary and Community Sector. This is subject to final approval at the County Council Budget setting meeting in January 2013.

All organisations who were awarded a grant in 2012-13 and reapplied in 2013-14 have been recommended for funding. The Adult Services grant programme has been part of the corporate grant review. Changes to the application process will ensure there is greater emphasis on organisations applying for grant funding to consider the accessibility of their services to under represented groups. The EIA relating to the corporate grant review will address this further.

Conclusion

The Adult Services grant programme maintains an annual grant programme which aims to improve access to support and services for vulnerable or marginalised groups. The department recognises the value of activities and services delivered by grant funded organisations and as such, the programme's budget for 2013-14 is not expected to receive a reduction.

The programme continues to reflect the priorities of the Adult Services Department, which have been set through wide consultation with the voluntary and community sector, and through needs identified in the Joint Strategic Needs Assessment.

The balance of grants recommended reflects the applications received. This results in some regional variation. Adult Services has processes and resources in place to actively engage with excluded groups to address this.

The Adult Services grant programme budget has not received a reduction in 2013-14 and this has significantly reduced the impact on organisations that have previously been awarded grant funding and subsequently on the services they deliver to the local community.

The Adult Services grant programme has been involved in the corporate grant review. Changes to the application process are aimed at improving access to grant funded services for socially excluded or marginalised groups.

The Corporate Services Grant Review will be exploring how the Council's grant programmes can become more effective and user friendly. It is also updating the application forms to enable applicants to consider how their services and activities are accessible to protected groups identified in the Equality Act 2010. The Equality Impact Assessment relating to the Corporate Grant Review will reflect this.

 

For more information please visit the Hampshire County Council Equality & Diversity web page.