Councillors Neil Fawcett, Debby Hallett, Sally Povolotsky, Judy Roberts and Bethia Thomas each declared a non-registrable interest in this item. They remained in the meeting and took part in the debate and decision.
Cabinet considered the head of policy and programmes’ report. This sought approval to an approach to distribute income from the White Horse Community Lottery’s central fund. The council had previously made a commitment that this fund would support local organisations and community initiatives across the district.
The report set out four options to spend the community fund:
1. Giving all registered good causes a share of the central fund based on the number of tickets they had each sold.
2. Giving good causes who had sold 20 or more tickets per week a share of the central fund.
3. Randomly selecting winners of the fund from registered good causes, with a minimum award of £1,000.
4. Splitting the income amongst the district’s key voluntary and community sector infrastructure providers.
The Cabinet member for community engagement reported that the recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic and cost-of-living crisis had highlighted the ongoing need within the voluntary and community sector for support. To help meet that need the Cabinet member recommended a blend of options 2 and 3. Option 3 should be used in year one as the method to distribute £9,000 income from the central fund to the voluntary and community sector organisations registered as good causes. For subsequent years, being 2023/24 onwards, option 2 should be used to proportionately distribute the fund to the voluntary and community sector organisations who sold 20 tickets or more per week.
Cabinet concurred, believing that random selection would give organisations an equal chance of receiving some of the funds. Subsequently, setting a minimum requirement of 20 ticket sales per week to receive a proportion of the central fund each year would encourage the continued success of the scheme, and would raise more income for the organisations and the other causes. Both approaches would ensure the funding was directed to benefit the communities it was intended to support.
Cabinet also suggested that the council should encourage local charities to get involved in the lottery.
(a) agree to distribute the income the Vale of White Horse District Council receives in its central fund from the White Horse Community Lottery to the Voluntary and Community Sector organisations registered as good causes in the Lottery; and
(b) agree to do this through random selection of nine winners, with a minimum award of £1,000 in 2022/23, and from 2023/24 proportionate to the number of tickets sold by each organisation, subject to organisations selling 20 tickets a week (as a minimum threshold).