Scottish Borders Council

Agenda item

Locality Bid Fund - Communities and Partnership Manager


The Chairman welcomed Ms Shona Smith, Communities and Partnership Manager, who was in attendance to outline how the new Locality Bid Fund would operate.  Ms Smith explained the criteria for the bids and that the Teviot and Liddesdale Informal Meeting had agreed to allocate £38,000 for the first tranche of funding.  Members had also agreed to set no maximum for constituted groups; non-constituted groups had been capped at £5k.  Ms Smith clarified that applications should be for new projects which would improve the lives of people living in the Scottish Borders and align to a theme from the Community Plan.  Existing projects were not eligible and there were funds available to assist such projects, for example Quality of Life funding and the Community Grant Scheme.   Ms Smith confirmed that the first phase had opened on 28 October and would end on 1 December.  Following the closing date, the Assessment Panel would consider the applications and, if the application successfully met the criteria, it would be taken forward to a community vote.   Details of projects would be available on the Council’s website and promoted prior to the public vote. Any funding not allocated in the first tranche would be rolled over to the second allocation, which would commence in Spring 2018.


4.2       In response to questions, Ms Smith advised that with regard to the level of interest, there had been a number of enquiries but only a small number of applications had been receivedso far.  With regard to concerns that smaller communities would be disadvantaged when projects were put to a community vote, Ms Smith advised that work with the Democratic Society had shown that voting patterns did not always turn out as expected and also smaller communities tended to have more communitycohesion than larger towns.  However, there would be an assessment of the first round which would inform any changes needed for the second round; this might include ring-fencing part of the funding.  Ms Smith then clarified the voting process: anyone over 16 who lived, worked or studiedin the Scottish Borders would be eligible to vote.  There would be various methods available, to make voting as accessible to as many people as possible, including online or postal voting and voting at local contact centresetc.  There would only be one vote allocated to each individual.   Sustainability of projects was then discussed and Ms Smith advised that guidance could be given for ongoing projects, andthat there might be opportunities for partnership working and match funding.


4.3       There followed a discussion regarding suitable projects, Ms Smith advised that schools were not eligible for funding but community groups, parent councils or pupils over 16 could apply.  Reference was made to improving the promotion of the scheme and Ms Smith welcomed the feedback received.  The team would consider inserts into local newspapers and redesigning promotional material, including incorporating links to the community plan.   Ms Smith concluded her briefing by advising that the Communities Partnership Team would be pleased to assist any individual or group with advice or support, andinformation was also available on the Council’s website.  The Chairman thanked Ms Smith for her attendance and for the informative briefing.







Scottish Borders Council

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