Agenda item

Community Reserve Potential Projects

Report of Deputy Leader and Executive Member for Strategy, Governance & Transformation, and Executive Member for Place.

Minutes:

The Deputy Leader and Executive Member for Strategy, Governance and Transformation was pleased to present the report that provided information on how the funds within the Community Reserve would be distributed.  The Community Reserve had been generated by the removal of the Council’s reliance on New Homes Bonus and would allow the Council to use it with the manner in which it had been intended.

 

Councillor Robinson was in support of the recommendations adding that it created a better environment for the communities within the district.

 

The Chairman pointed out that a significant amount of money had been allocated to support communities which had come about by ensuring the Council had carried out prudent work to streamline process, and focus on objectives that were a priority.

 

The Chief Executive added that a programme of work would be collated to ensure the delivery would be sustainable by working together with partners such as Department for Work and Pensions, and Town and Parish councils.

 

Councillor Cowen felt if the Council were going to invest funds to small businesses, support should be given to them in their infancy to ensure that they grow and develop into successful businesses.

 

Councillor Claussen looked forward to the delivery of the projects and gave thanks to the Leader of the Council for his vision and to the Chief Executive in delivering the projects.

 

The Chief Executive added the programme would be evidenced by demonstrating the how the Council received value for money on what it had spent.

 

Options

1)     Do nothing

2)     Agree that the Community Reserve can be used to establish the projects as set out in the report.

 

Reasons

By utilising the Community Reserve in the way set out in the report would bring significant benefits to both the Council and the residents. It would enable the council to invest in its community in a sustainable way that would bring long term financial benefits through either additional income or cost reduction. It would benefit residents by improving skills and income levels across the district.

 

The Council had made the decision to establish the Community Reserve. The budget for 2018-19 made provision that the money would be spent and Council Tax rates had been set taking this into account. By not spending the reserve the Council would have in affect set its Council tax rates too high.

 

RESOLVED that:

1)       the allocation of up to £100,000 from the Community Reserve to create a themed granted scheme based on improving social mobility and delegate authority to the Deputy Leader, the Executive Member Place and the Executive Director Place to approve the developing service specification and any associate procurement activity be approved.

 

2)       the allocation of up to £50,000 from the Community Reserve to carry out a feasibility study to explore the option of developing a commercial leisure offer in Swaffham, be approved.

 

3)       the allocation of up to £50,000 from the Community Reserve to carry out a feasibility study to explore the option of developing a commercial leisure offer in Attleborough, be approved.

 

4)       the allocation of up to £100,000 from the Community Reserve be spent on transport to work schemes, and delegate authority to the Deputy Leader, the Executive Member Place and the Executive Director Place to approve the award of grants to these schemes from these monies, be approved.

 

5)       the allocation of up to £100,000 from the Community Reserve to create a grant scheme to help support local entrepreneurs, and delegate authority to the Deputy Leader, the Executive Member Place and the Executive Director Place to approve the award of grants to individuals, or to award the administration of this fund to a third party organisation, be approved.

 

6)       the allocation of up to £50,000 from the Community Reserve be spent on providing digital skills training to Breckland residents, and delegate authority to the Deputy Leader, and the Executive Director Strategy and Governance to approve the developing service specification and any associate procurement activity, be approved.

 

RECOMMEND to FULL COUNCIL:

 

7)       the allocation of £200,000 from the Community Reserve be spent on the funding of Employment Officers, and that they delegate authority to the Deputy Leader, the Executive Member Place and the Executive Director Place to approve the developing service specification and any associate procurement activity be approved.

 

8)       the allocation of £500,000 from the Community Reserve to establish a scheme of leasing/buying vacant shop units to be used as start-up units for small businesses be approved.

Supporting documents: