Criteria and Rules
1. The scheme helps county councillors promote the well-being of the inhabitants of their Division. Such proposals should also support one or more of the Council's priorities.
2. The purpose of the scheme is to improve the ability of the county council to respond to local needs in a flexible way.
3. The Cabinet recommends the proposed Staffordshire Community Fund allocation for each councillor each year. The council reviews the scheme every year. The Director of Strategy, Governance and Change may issue further guidance as necessary.
4. The rules safeguard the county council's legal and financial position.
5. The scheme is intended to support
- projects which support the delivery of at least one of our priority outcomes.
- one off injections of funding rather than year on year financial support for specific projects. Applications are not likely to be successful in consecutive years without there being exceptional circumstances.
- local communities in funding projects from community groups, not for profit organisations, local charities & volunteer groups. It is not intended to provide ongoing support for commercial activities giving financial gain to individuals or businesses
6.The scheme is not intended to support any matter which
- is reserved by the county council under section 5 of the Constitution; or
- is contrary to a County Council or Cabinet policy including the county-wide consistent standards of the assessment of social care needs; or
- the Director of Strategy, Governance and Change advises is unlawful; or
- is a matter which would involve a payment to a school wholly or mainly to support the school's ordinary curriculum; or
- would create an on-going financial commitment; or
- relates to a function which is the legal responsibility of another statutory body or organisation.
7. In the financial year of a county council election, we will wait until 1 June to approve any proposals or make any payments.
8.Two or more members may agree on a joint proposal for the whole or part of their allocations. They may spend the funds on one or more projects in their combined electoral divisions.
9. The council will not approve any proposals after 31 December of that financial year. This includes the financial year preceding a county council election.
Where proposals have been agreed but the funding is not or cannot be spent by 31 March of that financial year -
10. Unless there are exceptional reasons, funds agreed under this scheme must be spent by the end of the financial year. If they are not spent on the proposal we will cancel the allocation of funds and, if the organiser of the proposal has already received the funds, require the return the monies to the council
11. If there are exceptional reasons for not spending the funding, then the Director of Strategy, Governance and Change and the Leader [taking into account the views of the member affected] may agree either:
◦ that the organiser of the proposal would have to return any unspent money and the council could re-allocate the unspent sum to the member concerned for that member to use within the scheme for the following financial year
◦ where the member considers it appropriate to do so, the member may carry forward the unspent allocation beyond the end of the financial year to support that original proposal. The project would need to be completed within the following financial year and could not be carried forward any further.
Procedure for approval
12. The member must notify the Director of Strategy, Governance and Change of their wish to support a proposal. Provided the proposal is in accordance with the Scheme the Director of Strategy, Governance and Change will normally approve it in accordance with the power in the scheme of delegation at number 11 in Table 3 to appendix 1 to section 10 of the Constitution.
13. If the Director is minded to refuse an application then he must first consult with the Leader.
The Council will review this scheme every year. The Director of Strategy, Governance and Change may issue further guidance as necessary.