To consider the communication and grant manager’s report.
Blewbury Parish Council
The officer introduced the application by Blewbury Parish Council for a grant of £6,257 towards a £12,938 project to install a trim trail on the recreation ground.
Chris Lakeland, of Blewbury Parish Council, was present to answer questions from the committee. He confirmed that the parish council had been unable to raise funds through the National Lottery to date. The application was for a minimal trim trail which could be extended if further monies later became available later. The maintenance costs would be covered by the parish council.
The committee debated the item.
· To approve the officers’ recommended score of 8 points out of a possible 9.
· To approve the officers’ suggested grant of 48.36 per cent of the total cost, capped to £6257, as per the parish council’s request.
Harwell Village Hall
The officer introduced the application by Harwell Village Hall Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO) for a grant of £3,300 towards a £6,623 project to add portable staging, backdrop and wing flats to the hall for use in performing arts.
Sue Greatbanks, representing the CIO, was present to answer questions from the committee. She confirmed that the organisation’s income level was quite high but it was required to meet the costs of other projects, and that application is part of a bigger project on performance arts.
The committee debated the item.
· To approve the officers’ recommendation of 8 points out of a possible 9.
· To approve the officers’ suggested grant of 49.83 per cent of the total cost, capped to £3300, the amount requested by the CIO.
Challows Royal British Legion
The officer introduced the application by Challows Royal British Legion for a grant of £5,000 towards a £10,070 project to replace part of a flat roof which was leaking.
Linda Moss and Connie Smith, of Challows Royal British Legion, spoke on the application and were available to respond to questions from the committee. They confirmed that they had been successful in raising additional funds towards the project since they had submitted the application. This was also part of a larger project to replace the roof and was the final part of the damaged roof to be replaced.
The committee asked the officer about possibly raising the point score and the officer confirmed this was at the discretion of the committee.
The committee debated the item and agreed no changes to the officers’ score.
· To approve the officers’ recommendation of 7 points out of a possible 9.
· To approve the officers’ suggested grant of 49.65 per cent of the total cost, capped to £5000, the amount requested by the Legion.
East Hendred Community Centre
The officer introduced the application by East Hendred Community Centre Trustees for a grant of £1,413 towards a £2,826 project to upgrade the lighting in Snells Hall. They had only been ranked a medium priority because of £28,000 of unaccounted and unrestricted funds.
There were no representatives from the trustees speak about the application or to respond to questions.
The committee debated the item, and concluded that there was no basis to change the recommendation.
· To approve the officers’ recommendation of 6 points out of a possible 9.
· To approve the officers’ suggested grant of 37.50 per cent of the total cost, capped to £1060, £353 less than the amount requested by the trustees.
The officer updated the committee on New Homes Bonus (NHB) and grants budgets following the decisions of this meeting.
The Grants Team Leader confirmed that the Wantage Area would be opening for another round of NHB applications as they have £43,217 unallocated budget.
After the decisions taken during this round, the committee have less than £5,000 unallocated budget, which is insufficient to reopen for a further round of funding. The unallocated budget will therefore return to general reserves at the end of the financial year.