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WPCC3-0049 Commissioner’s Grants Scheme 2022/23

Decision Title: Commissioner’s Grants Scheme 2022-23

Decision Reference Number: WPCC3-0049

Lead Officer: Precious Williamson and Sara Ansell

If force business, date approved by Chief Officer: n/a

Date: 4 April 2022

Status:  Non confidential

Decision summary:

The 2022-23 Commissioner’s Grants round has been concluded, following a full and comprehensive process. The PCC has awarded a total of £992,550 (breakdown summarised in this decision notice and as part of the supporting documentation) to 62 community projects in Warwickshire split across the general grants scheme, road safety grants and other key partnership working initiatives including community safety partnership (CSP) funding.  The partnership funding allocation includes £75,000 of funding which has been previously agreed for the continuation of a domestic abuse perpetrator programme into 2022-23, but is included here for completeness.  The PCC commissions various other services which are outside the scope of this decision notice.

The costs of the annual grants and partnership funded works will be met from within the 2022-23 PCC budget and the ring fenced road safety reserve, and this decision notice seeks formal approval of the allocations to the various specific organisations.

I confirm that my register of interests declaration is up to date and that none of my interests preclude me from making this decision.

Signature:  Philip Seccombe TD

Date: 8/4/2022

 Supporting information

1. Background information

The annual grants process operates alongside the significant proportion of PCC commissioned services and partnership working initiatives. This decision notice relates to the annual grants and partnership elements of spending by the PCC only.  In 2022-23, the following grants budgets were made available to bid for by organisations:

  • £310,000 in the General Grants Scheme was available for grants projects to fund activities supporting the five key priorities set out in the Police and Crime Plan 2021-25, with organisations able to bid for between £1,000 and £10,000 for small projects and up to £25,000 for larger projects.
  • £250,000 in Road Safety grants was made available to fund projects that make roads safer in Warwickshire with organisations able to bid between £1,000 and £10,000 for small projects and larger projects up to £25,000 or more in exceptional cases.
  • A further £578,132 was also made available for community safety partnerships and other areas of key partnership working to support the areas of focus in the Police and Crime Plan and local CSP Strategic Assessments and their priorities. This includes a number of varied areas of work including, but not limited to, prevent work, rural crime, problem solving, homicide reviews, and multi-agency working.

A high level breakdown of this funding is shown in the table below:

Area of expenditure Budget 2022-23 Allocation 2022-23
PCC funded annual grants to meet Police and Crime Plan objectives £310,000 £310,200
Road Safety Grants £250,000 69,531
Local Community Safety Partnership funding £159,000 £159,444
‘Other’ partnership funded work, including rural crime, domestic homicide reviews, multi-agency working, problem solving, prevent work and county wide community safety funding. £351,132 £378,375
Domestic Abuse Perpetrator partnership funding £68,000 £75,000
TOTAL £1,138,132 £992,550

The road safety grants funding is ring fenced for spending on improving road safety in the county.  The full budget remains partly unallocated due to the quantity and quality of applications received following the grants round.  This will be kept under  review during the course of the year if other projects come forward.

The process for allocating the grants funding in 2022-23 is given below and further breakdown of the allocations are included in the attached supporting documentation.

2022-23 Application criteria

General Grants

The general grants scheme was launched in November 2021 which resulted in 50 applications for general grants funding being received throughout December 2021 and January 2022, by the application deadline. Applications for grants were varied and were spread across the five key priorities of the Commissioner’s Police and Crime Plan 2021-25, as outlined below:

  • Deliver visible and effective policing
  • Fight crime and reduce re-offending
  • Keep people safe and reduce harm
  • Improve the justice experience
  • Strengthen communities
Road Safety Grants

In total we received 7 applications relating to road safety interventions focussed on:

  • Behavioural change on roads
  • Road safety awareness campaigns
  • Engaging with high-risk groups such as vulnerable road users, younger and inexperienced road users and those who take unnecessary hight risks on our roads to reduce death and serious injury
  • Enhanced road safety initiatives
  • Improving user confidence
Key partnership and Community Safety Partnerships (CSPs) Funding:

We received 21 applications from CSPs made up of:

  • 3 projects from North Warwickshire CSP
  • 4 projects from Rugby CSP
  • 6 projects from Nuneaton & Bedworth CSP
  • 8 projects from South Warwickshire CSP

In addition to the specific CSP funding applications, the PCC also committed to fund a further 7 partnership working initiatives as outlined below:

  • A small team based at Warwickshire County Council to progress Police and Crime Plan priorities through partnership working, including community safety analysts, prevent officer funding and county wide community safety work. Further allocations are also included for dealing with domestic homicide reviews and multi-agency working.
  • Warwickshire Police Rural Crime Team- Rural Crime Coordinator Post
  • Warwickshire Police Rural Crime Team- Rural Crime Advisor Post funding to cover the north of the County
  • Rural Crime Countywide Project Pot
  • Stratford District Council- Rural Crime Advisor Post funding to cover the south of the County
  • Warwickshire Police Problem Solving Fund
  • Partnership funding provided to meet the costs of undertaking domestic homicide reviews, multi agency working and Ecins system administration costs to benefit the work and effectiveness of the community safety partnerships.

The PCC has also committed to partnership working for a domestic abuse perpetrator programme in the county.  This is included in this decision notice for completeness regarding PCC partnership funding in 2022-23, but is a continuation of a funding commitment from 2021-22.

Evaluation Process

A thorough evaluation process consisting of several stages and level of evaluation was executed before final decisions were made. Applications for funding were considered by evaluators to ensure applications met the criteria and all relevant information had been made available. Prior to the PCC’s final decision panel, OPCC evaluators met with the Chief Executive Officer to review each application and make recommendations for the PCC’s consideration. The PCC then met with a panel consisting of the Chief Executive Officer, Head of Policy & Partnerships, Policy Partnership Officer (Roads Lead) and Commissioning and Grants Officer. The panel presented all the bids and their recommendations to the PCC for his final approval.

The key and overarching consideration included whether projects would support the Commissioner’s Police and Crime Plan 2021-25 in one or more of its five key  priorities as detailed below.  The main aim being linking funding to the agreed priorities:

  • Deliver visible and effective policing
  • Fight crime and reduce reoffending
  • Keep people safe and reduce harm
  • Improve the justice experience
  • Strengthen communities

The evaluation also included whether a project represented value for money, if there was evidence to support the need for the project in Warwickshire and if so would the project meet that need.  Policies such as safeguarding, insurance and data protection were also checked, as was the financial resilience of each organisation based on their submitted previous years accounts.  This due diligence was conducted in order to best ensure the safety of the public, and other volunteers and employees involved in delivering the projects, and to safeguard public money.

A full breakdown of the PCC approved project funding and how they are expected to contribute to the Police and Crime Plan is provided in the supporting documentation to this decision notice. For those bids which were not successful, information on why they were not successful has been retained as part of the evaluation process.

2. List of additional information attached as appendices

3. Expected benefits

The annual grants process is comprehensive.  It was openly advertised and applications were encouraged from all stakeholders including potentially new and existing grant recipients, who could identify projects that would help progress Police and Crime Plan objectives.  Finance is earmarked within the OPCC annual grants budget to fund this work.  Projects are robustly evaluated against an agreed set of criteria in line with the Police and Crime Plan priorities.  The project outcomes and spending are performance managed throughout the year and the PCC actively engages with many of the organisations as part of this process.  If the grants process was not undertaken, this could jeopardise the achievement of some of the key Police and Crime Plan priorities, and our ability to effectively work with partners would be stifled. The supporting documentation outlines some of the key benefits that have been identified as part of specific projects that funding has been approved for.

4. Impact of not approving the application

The expected benefits from the approved projects would not be achieved and Police and Crime Plan priorities and objectives would potentially remain unmet, unless other interventions were put in place.

5. Costs (including any identified savings)

The specific awards are included in the supporting documentation that accompanies this decision notice.

6. Equality implications

All relevant policies apply.

7. Legal comments

All legal advice regarding the grants process has been followed.

8. Publication

Information in this form is subject to the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOI Act) and other legislation.  Unless the information provided is covered by an exemption and stated to be either confidential or partly confidential, the information contained in the form will be published on the OPCC website.

Comments from the Treasurer

The costs of these grant awards can be met from within the 2022-23 PCC budget.  Payments of grants will be subject to due diligence checks at the OPCC, and terms and conditions for each of the awards will be issued and require agreement by grant recipients, for the approved projects, prior to payments being made.  The terms and conditions include a requirement that any unspent funding is to be returned at year end and the performance and outputs from projects will be monitored during the course of the year to ensure that they meet the agreed outcomes and priorities in the Police and Crime Plan.

The partnership working funding allocations will also be financed from within the annual PCC budget, and are shown in full within this decision notice for 2022-23.  The outcomes and performance of this partnership funding will be monitored during the course of the year and any areas of underspending at year end will be subject to recovery by the OPCC which will be agreed with partners if they arise.

Road Safety grants will be funded from the ringfenced road safety reserve as approved in the PCC’s annual budget.  There has been an under-allocation against the available budget following the grants round, due to the number and quality of applications received.  This level of funding and allocation will be kept under review during the course of the year.  These will be performance managed against the outcomes and any underspending will be recovered if it arises at year end.  The same due diligence checks and requirement to agree to the terms and conditions of the grant will be required as for general grants.

Comments from the Chief Executive and Monitoring Officer

The supporting information details the thorough process that has taken place to ensure the grants meet the Commissioner’s priorities identified in the Police and Crime Plan. Funding has been identified and award documentation prepared to ensure that the process runs smoothly, and that value for money and outcome information is obtained.