Rochford Council & Grants

Each year Rochford District Council gives grants to voluntary organisations either within the District or which help residents in the District.

This year Cllr Michael Hoy has been very critical of the cut in Grants overall, by 37%, to these organisations as a whole for the 2011-12 year.  At the last Council meeting he asked how these cuts squared with the aims of the council in directing people to these services, in greater numbers during this recession, whilst cutting the money these organisations need to provide an adequate service.

In answer to the questions put Michael was asked onto the panel which decides where next years grant money goes.

The process will be broadly as follows.

  • On the 13th December the Full Council will decide the total grant pot (last year £90,000) hopefully it will be increased from last year, this is what the green members are pushing for.
  • The panel then decide on who gets what on the following day, the 14th December.
  • The panel consists mainly of Tory members but with Cllr Chris Black of the Lib Dems & Cllr Michael Hoy of the Greens, to share the blame.  They will then put forward the recommendations of where the money should go.  There is potential for this recommendation to be overturned but this is unlikely.

The paperwork on this is quite extensive as there seems to be applications in for more than double last years grant pot.

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6 thoughts on “Rochford Council & Grants

  1. I am a student, new to Rochford and as a member of the Green party at college looked up my local branch but not taking things on face value have just looked up all notes relating to the grants to voluntary groups…..I cannot find anywhere that you questioned the amount given? and from what I have found there was no councillor Black on the grants panel? (although I think he is Cludo?)
    I chose Green as I like their ethos and truth…I am not seeing it here ? I will read on …..

  2. Thank you for responding Dan.

    Cllr Black was unable to make the meeting and Cllr Ron Oatham stood in for him.

    I quite agree that the overall amount for grants in Rochford is too small, particularly after last years cuts. This year the grant pot was increased by £15,000, a 16.67% increase still not enough but substantially better than anything else in the councils budget where cuts appear to be the norm.

    If you are referring to the individual amounts given to groups, the panel only had the £90,000 + £15,000 to give out, they could not give out more. The choices were made on a point scoring system which i am pleased to say including environmental concerns.

    With regard to me questioning the amount given please come to the Council meetings and you will see me do so, I would like to think my questioning over the previous year resulted in the increase of £15,000 mentioned above.

    Michael Hoy

  3. Black is character in Cludo – the board game.
    Ok ..as I may intend on campaigning locally I did actually come to the meeting on the 31st January. When you say ‘Green Party’ I only saw one green councillor present?. Overall I was actually impressed by the budget set and Rochford seem to be in a better position than many authorities. Bearing in mind my own green ethics I am also with the recycling scheme…for a tory led authority seeming very green at present….. I thought Brighton had it right but not so sure ….I will follow with interest…….

  4. Hi Dan

    There were two Green Councillors present on the 31st, out of two. Afraid I haven’t played cludo for a long time, but I remember the name now.

    Rochford has an interesting and perhaps unusual Budget process which involves ALL Councilors. This means that the opposition Councillors (including the Greens) have a say in the budget process and allows the conservatives, as well as the opposition, to discuss, vote and even put forward proposals, in private, prior to the meeting you attended on the 31st.

    This means people attending the meeting on the 31st see something waved through with little discussion, the discussion has already taken place over three previous meetings, two of which are all day ones, and in which views on all sides are listened to by everyone present. Certainly the opposition parties put forward proposals on the budget which have been included, many items had all party support and some split party support. This is probably consensus politics at its best, something I understand is not seen in other councils.

    With regard to Brighton don’t forget they are a much larger Council, Rochford will lose £159,000 next year as the funding for foregoing a 2.5% council tax rise will not be given again and in 4 years the funding for foregoing last years 2.5% rise will also disappear giving a very large shortfall, this will be a much larger funding shortfall in Brighton than in Rochford. I did request at least the option of a council tax rise was discussed, which it was, and the outcome was a decision to keep it frozen and accept the 2.5% for this year.

    Also items have been cut which will reduce the quality of life for people, cuts which I do not necessarily agree with, but will try to get funded on a more local level.

  5. Hi Dan

    Could you please check the email address given as it doesn’t appear to be correct. We are unable to approve future comments unless a valid email address is given.

    Thank You

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