Tuesday, 23 August 2011

News - County Council to cut red tape on voluntary sector grant aid (Notts)

Nottinghamshire voluntary organisations are being asked for their views on a plan to reduce bureaucracy and make it easier for them to apply for grant aid funding from the County Council.

Proposals set out in the authority’s Corporate Grant Aid Strategy 2011-15 are in response to feedback gained from the county’s voluntary sector since April when groups were allocated their funding for this financial year.

Many groups commented that the application process is too time consuming and the current allocation of grants on an annual basis with quarterly payments did not allow them to plan for the long-term.

Key proposed changes include:

A simpler application process and less monitoring for groups that are awarded funding.

A reduction in the number of payments meaning that groups will get their funding quicker.

Most grants will be awarded for a two to three-year period.

Coun Martin Suthers, the Council’s Deputy Leader, said: “We have had to make difficult decisions with our grant aid funding this year due to reducing budgets and the voluntary sector understands this.

“We appreciate that many groups’ resources are stretched and do not have the resources to fill in reams of pages on forms to apply for funding.

“The Council needs to make it as easy as possible for these groups to apply for and use grant aid to allow them to get on with the job in hand – delivering important services for Nottinghamshire people.

“We have been working with the voluntary sector on a plan to achieve this aim but we want these groups to have their say on the way forward that we have put together.”

The Council is proposing to change its small grants scheme by awarding grants from £500 to £5,000 instead of up to £1,000.

The consultation is taking place until Friday 16 September and the Council has set up focus groups made up of voluntary groups in each district to discuss the plans.

Local groups wanting to comment or be part of the focus groups can contact the authority on 0115 977 3304 or email countygrantaid@nottscc.gov.uk 

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