County Councillor Grants
Protocol for Individual Budgets for Members of Hampshire County Council
Each Member will receive an annual budget, to be allocated to local projects, initiatives or organisations in their Division. Legitimate groups and organisations, but not individuals, will be able to apply to their local Member for a grant. A legitimate organisation is one which has its own bank account and which can demonstrate that it has at least one of the following:
- Where relevant, independently verified statements of account or at least, a formal letter from an independent person with the requisite ability and practical experience to carry out a competent examination of the accounts
- A published statement of its objectives
- A committee or board of governors or trustees
- Minuted meetings and an annual general meeting
What type of projects / initiatives are covered by the scheme?
Groups and organisations can apply for funding for both revenue (one-off) and minor capital projects. Revenue grants should generally be used to support short term project related costs e.g. a time limited activity group for children. General revenue funding to pay for the running costs of the core service or function of an applicant organisation should only be grant funded after particularly careful consideration of the application and where the Member supporting the grant is satisfied that;
- The applicant organisation is not statutory body e.g. a Council, a school or a NHS body.
- The revenue support required is generally regarded as ‘one off’.
- The applicant organisation has a viable plan to balance its budget in future years.
- The applicant organisation will remain viable and in existence for the financial year in question.
It is expected that the grants will benefit a wide range of groups/activities: for example, vulnerable children or adults, young people, facilities for older people, community facilities, parish councils (but only for specific projects), schools minor traffic or safety works, local environment projects, and community safety.
How will applications be judged?
Applicants for grants must demonstrate that their project or initiative contributes to one or more of the County Council’s Corporate priorities:
- Hampshire safer and more secure for all – The County Council’s overarching priority is about developing and supporting stronger, safer communities for all by protecting vulnerable people, maximizing safety in the places we live, helping young people to live positive lives and helping diverse communities to feel secure.
- Maximising wellbeing - This priority is about maintaining and improving quality of life and ensuring everyone has the opportunity to support themselves, be active in their community and have access to the services they need.
- Enhancing our quality of place - This priority is all about making the County a good place to be by protecting local distinctiveness and diversity, ensuring excellent facilities, respecting Hampshire’s heritage and planning proactively for the future
Who can apply?
Applications can be made by a wide variety of organisations and groups located within the administrative County of Hampshire, but the organisation or group must have a bank account, and (for grants over £5,000) provide a set of accounts and, where relevant, details of the organisation’s child/adults safeguarding policy. Applications from religious groups may be considered, but the application must show that the project will bring wider community benefit. Applications from Maintained Schools, Academies, District, Borough or City Council’s, National Park Authorities, the Police, the Fire Service and the NHS may also be considered but only when the applicant can demonstrate that the grant will support an additional community benefit and will not be used to supplement the core services or functions of that organisation.
Who can’t apply?
Applications will not be accepted from individuals (e.g. for personal sponsorship) or from political parties or groups affiliated with a political party or from lobbying organisations.
The approval process
Organisations/groups applying for a grant must complete the online application form
The Local Member is responsible for checking the eligibility of the applicant and the suitability of the grant applied for noting whether funding is being provided from elsewhere in the County Council already. Individual Members will agree which applications they wish to support and it is the responsibility of the Member to advise applicants of the outcome of their grant application.
When deciding whether or not to recommend a grant for approval Members must give due regard the public sector Equality duty by consciously thinking about to the need to:
- Eliminate unlawful discrimination including harassment, victimisation and any other conduct prohibited by the Equality Act 2010:
- Advance equality of opportunity between people who share a protected characteristic and people who do not share it: and
- Foster good relations between people who share a protected characteristic and people who do not share it
As part of the decision making process, Protected characteristics are –
age, disability, gender reassignment, pregnancy and maternity, race (including ethic or national origins, colour or nationality), religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation.
The County Council’s current executive arrangements do not make provision for non-executive members to authorise expenditure. Therefore the final decision on whether a grant is awarded (after it has gone through a checking process) will be made at officer level based on the recommendation of the Member.
The County Council's Code of Conduct for Members must be adhered to by Members when deciding which grants to recommend for approval. The Member should declare any Non Pecuniary Interest so that the officer approving the grant is aware of that interest. If a Member has a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest in any matter under consideration or a Non Pecuniary Interest that the Member believes would influence his/her judgement on the matter the interest should be declared and the Member should take no further part in the matter, other than to inform the applicant about this and refer them to another named Member who will consider the application and recommend it for approval or refusal in the normal way. If the application is approved, the expenditure will be drawn from the budget of the Member to whom the application was first directed, subject to a maximum limit specified by that Member.
The opening date for the scheme is 1 June and the deadline for submitting grant requests to the Director of Policy and Governance is the 28 February in each financial year.
The minimum grant payable is £100 and the maximum grant payable is £8,000.
Members are encouraged to fully utilise their annual grant allocation in the financial year in question. Any unspent budget cannot be carried forward.
Grant payments will be one-off, and there should be no expectation of future funding. The grants are expected to support projects and not to contribute to an organisation's general revenue costs, other than revenue costs supporting projects and in the circumstance referred to above. Annually recurring costs should generally not be supported.
The scheme may be used to facilitate match funding from other organisations, but match funding is in no way a requirement.
The County Council is not able to undertake feasibility work to assess the merits of an initiative/project, nor to assist applicants in making their bid beyond advising on the application process.
The scheme will be published, e.g. on the County Council's website, but support from the County Council's corporate communications team will not be available to publicise individual Members' grants. Members must deal with all correspondence and media comment that arises from their grants and fully recognise with the media and others that the grant has been provided by the County Council in furtherance of the County Council's priorities.
Administration of the scheme
Funding recommended by Members will be processed and payments made by the Corporate Resources Department.
Audit and reporting
The scheme will be subject to scrutiny in the same way as any other County Council budget would be. Members must therefore retain all original documents including application forms and correspondence for at least six years for future reference by either internal or external audit. In the event that a Member ceases to be a Member of the County Council during that period then all records held by that member relating to member grants should be returned to the County Council for safekeeping.
All successful applicants will be expected to report, to the Member who approved the grant, on how the money was spent, either in the form of a letter or by providing a set of accounts which shows details of the expenditure.
Details of qualifying grants awarded will be recorded and published as an Executive Decision made by an Officer in accordance with Access to Information requirements.
This is not intended to be an exhaustive list and may be amended from time to time. Other organisations who seek to serve the people of Hampshire may well qualify, provided that they satisfy the Council's priorities.
- Parish Councils (for specific projects only)
- Scout, guide, boys and girls brigade local organisations
- Religious groups (where the project will bring wider community benefit)
- Shopmobility (local)
- Citizens' Advice Bureau (local)
- Riding for the disabled (local)
- Village or community hall associations
- Age Concern, Mencap
- British Legion, Services' benevolent societies
- Parent teacher associations (formally constituted)
- Organisations promoting the locality
- Nursery education groups
- Maintained Schools, Academies, District, Borough or City Council’s, National Park Authorities, the Police, the Fire Service and the NHS (when the applicant can demonstrate that the grant will support an additional community benefit and will not be used to supplement the core services or functions of that organisation)
This list may be amended from time to time.
- Any political party
- Any organisation with political aims
- Any campaigning group (CPRE, Friends of the Earth, etc)
- Any organisation that raises funds nationally - for national distribution (unless the applicant can demonstrate that the funds will be applied locally)
- Any pressure group formed solely for one issue
- Any group formed to oppose any proposed/likely County Council policy
Contact your county councillor for more information and assistance.