Not everyone is happy with the pot of money dolled out by Waverley to organisations including day centres and the CAB.
The newly named ” Thriving Communities Fund” (TCF) is having teething problems.
Perhaps, unhappy is an understatement? Some Tories are fuming that a new way of dishing out funds to voluntary organisations has been given a make-over by the new administration.
A change that many believe is long overdue.
For many years some failing organisations have been propped up by taxpayers due to the council’s failure to grapple with changing circumstances of groups and the services they now deliver.
So Waverley’s new administration turned the old funding mechanism on its head, and opened up the bidding process to a wider section of the community. It wants to fund initiatives for a more diverse public sector in future, including the young as well as the old. However, the new process has fallen foul of some of the traditional groups who have benefitted for decades from taxpayers money.
The council (TCF) group, including all political persuasions, was formed to determine how a £700,000 money pot would be dolled out this year. An extra ‘one off’ £49,000 was added to help existing groups make the transition. Decisions were made behind closed doors, and members told not to divulge awards, or to whom they were given.
Secrecy – was not appreciated by many, mainly the Tory opposition. Cllr Jenny Else (Conservative Elstead) was told not to divulge any information even to Tory colleagues – ” so, I didn’t ” she told the Full Council Budget setting meeting last night. Good old Aunty Elsey kept shtumn changing the habit of a lifetime.
The Citizens’ Advice Bureau is peeved, big time, that it is losing out. So Tory Leader Stephen Mulliner gave the Rainbows a poke in the ribs, for not telling him earlier by how much, forcing him to rely upon rumour stories. You can read it here: A bit of a spat about a “rumoured” reduction in Citizens’ Advice Funding by ‘Your Waverley.’
Cllr Michael Goodridge was incensed that it was rumoured that an organisation, of which he was a founder member, was forced to endure a 30% cut resulting in a £60,000 loss of revenue. A promised £50,000 grant from SCC didn’t dampen his outrage.
“After all the CAB deals with four and a half thousand families in Waverley. said he!”
Ye, Gods how much in total does the CAB receive from parish, town, borough and county councils as well as national Government? Perhaps someone will tell us?
Here’s what was agreed: At a meeting between Waverley and the CAB this week.
The following funding was agreed in principle – £150k From the Thriving Communities Commissioning Fund, supplemented by £50k from SCC and an additional £40k in principle from COMF funding to support in the transition to the provision of outreach to communities with debt advice, budgeting and benefits advice. This enables CAW to maintain a continued presence in Haslemere and Cranleigh for the next financial year.
COMF stands for Waverley’s Containment Management Fund. Which apparently is not Waverley’s money, but Government money which can be used in emergencies.
Cllr Patricia Ellis (Con Cranleigh) really let rip about the loss of funding to Rowleys Day Centre. An organisation that she had admitted to the funders, was “failing,” and had been for many years. Attendances had dropped, it was closed to the elderly during Covid, staying open for a handful of Meals on Wheels. Rumour had it that staff were fully paid to do almost nothing.
The Trustees were told “their grant must remain confidential until after this meeting and not to apply again for several years.”
No mention was made of the £40,000 roof repairs to the Rowleys building included in Waverley’s Budget Papers. Cllr Liz Townsend gave a string of examples of how both she and the county council were advising on new initiatives.
Concerns about Milford’s Clockhouse Day Centre, also failing, which will now receive no funding since being taken over by age UK Surrey, had healthy reserves. Recently its CEO announced that it had “plenty of money.” Though it still sought support grant funding from Waverley.
Cllr Kika Mirylees Portfolio Holder for health & Wellbeing responds to her critics in the clip below.