Agenda item

Updates to Area Board Arrangements


Peter Dunford – Community Engagement Manager briefly outlined the following:  


Area Board Review


That the Area Board model was introduced in 2009 and had delivered significant progress to develop stronger, more resilient and connected communities since its inception.


That the overall objectives of the Area Boards remain consistent today however, in an operating model more than 12 years old it was natural that certain elements were subject of review and refresh to ensure they were meeting the current needs of local communities.


That the aspiration of the review was to build on the excellent practice and evident success of the Area Boards and to address areas where there was inconsistency in practice and approach.


That the number of boards, overall format, structure and local autonomy were not part of the review.


That a period of research, analysis and review of data between the Cabinet Member, Portfolio Holder and key Officers had been carried out.


That an Overview and Scrutiny process followed between January – March 2022, had resulted in 24 recommendations.


These were adopted into a single member decision paper on Area Board arrangements which was ratified on the 6 May 2022.



Setting and Working to Local Priorities


An annual cycle of meetings was described with 4 business meetings plus regular community engagements and events.


Up to 5 priorities to be agreed by the Board with at least one councillor nominated as lead for each priority area.


Area Board Working Groups


Where there is an existing community or partner led group addressing this priority, the Area Board should work in partnership with such community or group and not create a working group of its own.



Changes in the Grants Criteria


That funding was available to voluntary and community sector organisations that could show a need for financial support up to a total of £5,000. Town and Parish councils were eligible to apply for revenue funding, in respect of Youth Grants or Older and Vulnerable AdultGrants, where they were able to show a need for financial support.


Matched funding requirement had reduced from £1,000 to £500.


That applications must be received at least four weeks before an Area Board.


That applications must highlight how they were meeting two aims of the Wiltshire Council Business Plan andan Area Board local priority – grant system would reflect this.


That an organisation could apply for a maximum of two projects/ bids per annum across all eighteen boards. Each project/ bid canrequest funding from up to three boards.



Grant Assessment Panel


The panel will review grant applications sent from Community Engagement Managers when meeting all criteria, however are:


Requesting over £5,000

Not from a voluntary or community sector organisation


Applying to multiple boards (more than 3)


Delegated Authority


In order to deal with urgent matters that may arise between meetings of the Area Board, the Community Engagement Manager has the authority to approve expenditure from the delegated grants budget when the following conditions are met:

- the item is deemed urgent by the CEM, Chair and Vice-Chair of the Area Board:

- the item follows due process, enabling all Area Board Members 5 working days to review and consider the award.

- the award does not exceed £1,000

- the award has a majority support from all Area Board members


Supporting documents: