Changes to the way Uckfield Town Council distributes grants have been agreed.
Conditions surrounding applications have been tightened and the operation and awarding process moved from the autumn to the following spring.
Grants, however, will still be paid at the same time.
At present grants are awarded (subject to ratification) at a special meeting in September but do not become payable until the following financial year.
The money is paid to organisations which support community life.
Members of the council’s general purposes committee agreed changes at a meeting last week.
Committee chairman, Cllr Diane Ward, explained the current system led to a long wait from the time of grants being agreed to the money being paid.
Town clerk, Holly Goring, said the change would also mean the grants allocations would coincide with the budget-setting process.
“We usually have an idea of the draft budget in December. We usually set that early to mid January so by the end of January we will have a clear ideas of the budget the council wants to set,” she said.
Tidying and tightening
Cllr Paul Meakin, chairman of the finance committee, said it had been a “tidying-up” and “tightening-up” exercise.
The council’s review of the grants has been under way for some time and during the process it came to light that last year an application had been overlooked.
There are also have been applications outside the usual time, which has caused some members concerns because budgeted grants money had been allocated and additional payments would have to come from reserves.
- The new arrangements will come into force for the financial year 2021/22
- Closing date for applications will be January 31, 2021
- Grants meeting held in February 2021
- A single point of contact for all grant applications will be established
- Confirmation will be sent to applicants within seven days of receipt
- If applicants do not receive a receipt one week from submission of their application, they should contact the council prior to the deadline, otherwise their application would be considered inadmissible.
Uckfield Town Council, at its discretion and subject to available funding, provides grants and general support to small local groups promoting community life in Uckfield. Local organisations that fulfil the criteria may apply for a grant from the town council for a specific funding purpose.
Grants are not awarded to commercial or profit-making groups.