The New Homes Bonus funding has been announced and all bidders have been notified, congratulations to those that achieved funding it was a very competitive process and so you should be proud of your bids. If you didnt get the funding don't be too disheartened as overall the funding was 7x over subscribed and so your bid may have been very good but you just missed out.
To find out details of who has been successful the link to the 7 reports can be found here. https://moderngov.cheshireeast.gov.uk/ecMinutes/mgDelegatedDecisions.aspx?XXR=0&&ACT=Find&RP=0&K=0&V=0&DM=0&HD=0&DS=0&Next=true&NOW=050319113149&META=mgdelegateddecisions&
An offer we are putting out for CVS members that submitted a revenue application e.g. to pay for a service is that I will provide some feedback on your application based on the review of the application at the panel stage. We cannot comment on what was discussed at the ward decision panels as we weren't there. This offer is only open to CVS members if you would like this please email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 01270 763100 to make an appointment.
We will be following up Cheshire East Council as to the next steps for this funding and will keep this article updated so make sure to check back in the next few weeks.
The New Homes Bonus applications have all been scored by three panels consiting of Cheshire East Council, Clinical Commissioning Group, Mid Cheshire NHS Trust and VCFS representatives. The VCFS representatives were myself and Angela Richardson from Cheshire Community Foundation.
There were 223 applications submitted and they were split between three panels, one focused on capital bids, then the revenue bids were seperated into East and South Cheshire. I attended the intial meeting for all three panels and contibuted to the final scoring for the two revenue panels however I wasn't able to read all the capital bids.
My experience of being part of disucssions on all three panels were that all the members of the panel had knowledge and experience that were relevant to the bids that were being reviewed. Overall all the bids I was involved in the final scoring of had a fair discussion and that during the scoring we aimed to treat all bids the same. I do feel that the final scores that were sent through to the ward meetings were a fair assessment of their fit against the criteria.
The next step during February is that the Ward Councillors will see the bids for their area and they will then make the final decision on which bids are funded.
At CVS there are a few things we are going to do:
- For applicants that were unsuccessful I will offer some additional feedback based on my involvement in the panel disucssion (This is for members only and not for the capital bids)
- We are going to be reviewing the support we offered and look to provide some template answers for questions that a number of bids were weaker on
- Review the process with CEC to make sure that if they don't allocate all the funding this round or if they have a new scheme that we can improve how it works.
- Offer support to organisations that have secured funding to monitor and evaluate thier project and complete monitoring reports (This is for memebers only)
If in the meantime anyone has any questions please don't hesitate to contact me.
We are hosting an event to support people with this on 7/11/18, for more information on this and:
- The priorities for each area
- Application form and guidance notes, and
- Read through support available from CVS,
please visit the funding section of our site.
Please read the whole blog below for details on the scheme and links to the Councils policy document.
CVS has been supporting Cheshire East Council with training and information for the Councillors that will be on the panels reviewing the bids to the fund.
Some additional information we have is that:
- Each of the 7 areas will set their funding priorities in October
- The fund is expected to open in November
- The fund is expected to close at the end of December
- The areas will meet in January to make awards
The minimum funding is £10,000, there is no maximum however please make sure you consider what the total pot is for the area you are bidding for, see the allocations below.
CVS is offering free funding support to all organisations wishing to bid to the first round of this fund, including non-members. To access support please email email@example.com
Before the fund opens we would recommend:
- you familiarise yourself with the priorities (page 12) and the scoring criteria (page 17) in the policy for the scheme.
- you consider which area(s) you are bidding into
- you ensure that you have strong evidence of need and community engagement and have considered how your project would mitigate the increase in houses in the ward you are bidding for
- if you are interested in working in partnership with another organisation make contact now.
We will release further details of drop in sessions and other forms of support shortly.
Many of you will be aware that Cheshire East Council has approved a new grant scheme called, New Homes Bonus Community Fund.
CVS has been involved in talking to staff and Councillors about this and here's what we know so far;
- On 22nd February 2018 the Council set aside a fund of £2m (£1m in each of 2018/19 and 2019/20), as part of the Medium Term Financial Strategy, to allow local people to engage with how services are delivered at a local level. As new homes can impact on the services required in an area, the allocation of funding reflects where new houses have been built.
It's important for you to keep in mind that this funding is linked to the development of new houses and so therefore areas with more houses would get a greater allocation of funding
- The scheme provides an opportunity for funds to be allocated based on locally agreed priorities, through a process overseen by local ward members and representatives from Town & Parish Councils who will act as advisory panels to the Portfolio Holder for Finance and Communications. They have split the funding with all areas getting a fixed allocation of £50,000 and then a variable amount dependent on the amount of housing.
The current allocatons are:
- Congleton £328,973 - this covers the towns of Middlewich, Alsager, Sandbach, Holmes Chapel, Congleton and the surrounding rural areas
- Crewe £170,985
- Knutsford £61,790
- Macclesfield £121,739
- Nantwich £162,006
- Poynton £67,776
- Wilmslow £86,731
- Members will be supported and advised by Officers of Cheshire East Council.
This is expected to be the partnerships team. This is the team that currently manages the Early Help community grants scheme - this has also been reviewed.
- Member led priority activities, once agreed, will then be delivered by the most appropriate provider which may include commissioning Cheshire East Council departments, Town and Parish Councils, or by bids from local community organisations. Cheshire East Council Officers will give advice on appropriate service providers.
The councillors for each of the areas will come up with the prorities for that particualr area and organisations, including Cheshire East Council, can then apply to deliver projects within those priority areas.
- There is an expectation that projects will make a visible impact in the local community. For this reason the minimum allocation per project is £10,000.
There is currently no maximum set but you would need to be aware of the total funding pot for the area
These have not yet been finalised. We are supporting the staff at Cheshire East to work up the training plan for the ward members and looking at the application process. As soon as we know more we will update this blog.
Some things for you to consider while the finer details and timescales are being worked up
- If you are involved in your community you will be aware of the main priorities so you might want to think about if you have any specific projects.
- The ward councillors are listed for each town area. While they might not be able to give you any more detail on the timescales etc, you could talk to them about priorities
- Have a look at the current documentation linked to this Policy for the Scheme this document contains details on the areas, the ward councillors, the funding allocation and the application process. It also contains details on the councils overall priorities which will have an influence on the local priorities.
- Wilmslow ward members are here
We will keep everyone updated and once the application process has opened don't forget if you are a member we are able to support with our read through service.
The lead staff member from CVS on this is our Chief Executive, Caroline she can be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org or 07792 754904