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1. Comments from the Safer Stronger Communites Select Committee on
the Main Grants Programme
Councillor Rathbone, the Chair of the Safer Stronger Communities Select
Committee presented this report.
The SSSC recommended that organisations seeking main grants of £100,000
or more, a total of 5 organisations, be subject to more rigorous monitoring and
It appears that such organisations have had more problems with governors
over the last 7 years in Lewisham, for example the closure Lewisham Sub-
living Coalition has revealed where those failings are.
Organisations which have not been recommended to main grants funding due
to governance problems, or organisations which just got recommended due to
very recently urgent changes due to their governance structures- Voluntary
Services Lewisham; The Albany; Lewisham Local; Advice for Lewisham
Partnership and Age UK, total £1.85m of third sector funding per year. The
smallest of these being 5% of the main grants programme and the largest is
The feeling from the SSSC is that the kind of scrutiny the smaller and larger
organisations should be under is not the same. There are informal procedures
in place for some of the larger organisations but these should be put down
officially in agreement rather than adhoc agreement.
A review of the organisations’ governance and auditing arrangements can be
done by the time of implementation of the main grants. Any changes can be
made or at least requested by the Council before the new scheme comes into
place. In regards to the partnership organisations, receiving money via an
incubator organisation, but what is being funded is not a formally constituted
entity. This will need to be reviewed to see if it is still an appropriate
2. Appeals- Main Grants Programme
Representatives from organisations presented their appeals against the draft
recommendations of allocation of the Main Grants Programme 2019-22 as
Voluntary Action Lewisham
VAL provides information, support, training and specialist advice on topics
ranging from governance and fundraising to safeguarding and GDPR, with
over 900 people and organisations on their database. VAL received criticism
in the assessment for not creating a thriving hub for the Mulberry Centre, to
which they respond that without accessibility to the building for vulnerable
users and a licence to rent the spaces are both required to do this, but are
impossible without support or funding from Lewisham. Since the submission
of the Main Grants application, a 2 year grant of £100,000 from City Bridge to
extend the impact programme has been confirmed which may be withdrawn
without core funding from LBL.
The Mayor invited members of the Cabinet to ask questions to the appellant. Appellants responded that they are having discussions with Lewisham Local about merging. Merger discussions have also been had regarding Community Southwark who have experience in running the infrastructure services other boroughs. A minimum of £50,000 is required for core funding.
The strategy for the future on income generation is ineffective without funding.
The centre provides specialist face to face advice and advocacy. Services ... view the full minutes text for item 422.