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WPCC3-0129 – Police and Crime Commissioners Grants 2024/25

Decision Reference Number: WPCC3-0129

Lead Officer: Emma Dixon

Chief Officer approval: N/A

Date: 12/03/2024

Status: Non-confidential

Decision summary:

The 2024/25 Commissioner’s Grants round has been concluded, following a full and comprehensive process. The PCC has awarded a total of £299,213.13 (breakdown summarised in this decision notice and as part of the supporting documentation) to various community projects in Warwickshire split across the small grants scheme, road safety grants. Aside from these grants the PCC also commissions and funds various other services including the Community Safety Partnerships (CSPs) 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 2024/25 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:  P.Seccombe

Date: 13/03/2024

Supporting information

1. Background information

The annual grants process operates alongside the various PCC commissioned services and partnership working initiatives and projects. This decision notice relates solely to the annual grants awarded by the PCC for 2024/25.

In 2024/25, the total budget for these grants is £300,000. The PCC has agreed with the Treasurer that based on application merit, an over allocation of awards against the budget could be permitted, of approximately 10%. This has been agreed following year on year underspending on projects by a number of partners due to a variety of reasons, and there is therefore, a strong possibility that this will happen again in 2024/25.  The over allocation of awards will be offset by this anticipated underspending in year, but if this is not forthcoming, the costs will be underwritten and financed by the PCC grants and initiatives reserve.

Following the evaluation process, the PCC has agreed to fund projects totalling £272,073.13 under the small grants programme, and a further £27,140 for Road Safety Grants, funded form the ringfenced road safety reserve.

The proposed allocations are summarised below:

Details: £
Small Grants      272,073.13
Road Safety Grants        27,140
Total      299,213.13

In total, 57 grant applications were received in 2024/2025. Applications for grants were varied and covered the five key priorities of the Commissioner’s Police and Crime Plan 2021-2.  These are 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

The overarching theme for the 2024/25 Commissioners grants programme is prevention and diversion.  This is defined as follows:

Prevention: targeting the causes of criminality and/or anti-social behaviour, seeking to break the generational cycle of offending to prevent it from occurring in the first place, and/or

Diversion: supporting individuals who have already begun a journey of perpetrating crime and/or anti-social behaviour, but who, armed with the right knowledge, understanding and commitment, can be diverted from this path towards a brighter future.

Counselling projects were excluded from this year’s grants process, and this was communicated at the outset, as these services are provided within our commissioned services.

The 2024/25 grants process was launched on 9th October 2023, and an online briefing session was held on Microsoft teams.  Media releases were issued, and a grants landing page was created on the PCC website to promote and publicise the Commissioner’s grant scheme. Applicants were advised and directed to the OPCC Grants page to access application criteria, guidance notes and a recording of the briefing session to help them gain further information on the process.

A similar online application process was adopted for this years’ process compared to that in 2023/24, and the deadline for grant applications was the 10th November 2023.

The model and process for evaluations of the 2024/25 grant applications was also similar to that adopted in 2023/24 except for an additional layer of engagement with the force problem solving team to discuss the implementation of new frameworks like SARA (Scanning, Analysis, Response, Assessment) to run a more problem-solving orientated process.

The first phase of evaluations took place offsite between the 28 November 2023 and 29 November 2023. This evaluation phase utilised 8 OPCC staff, working in four teams. They reviewed applications and made recommendations based on this year’s thematic and financial criteria. Each application was scored out of a total of 25 points, upon this scoring a recommendation of support, partial/possible support or do not support was supplied for the next evaluation phase.

Following this, the Finance and Commissioning team undertook further qualitative and quantitative checks for all grant applications in preparation for the round table discussion which took place on 11 December 2023. The round table discussion was held by the senior management team at the OPCC and was followed up with the final phase of the formal decision-making process by the PCC and DPCC.

The final grant decisions are contained as an addendum to this report and were based on the recommendations and findings of the evaluation panel.  In addition to the approval of the evaluation panels’ recommendations for funding, the PCC and DPCC made discretionary awards to a further 6 organisations.  These separate awards were based on their wider understanding of how the activities of the various organisations continue to meet Police and Crime Plan objectives, and a desire therefore to support them. These discretionary awards are also included in the attached addendum to this report, for completeness.

The evaluation process included how and 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.

All grant scheme awards must comply with the Minimal Financial Assistance (MFA) framework which allows the PCC under the Subsidy Control Act 2022 to award subsidies of up to £315,000 over a period of three fiscal years, to intended grant recipients. Before awarding grants, the OPCC undertook an assessment of all subsidies to ensure successful projects met the requirements set out in the Subsidy Control legislation. MFA notifications were issued to inform successful applications that the Commissioner intended to award them a subsidy by way of a MFA.

All successful grant recipients have been requested to provide written confirmation to the OPCC confirming that the MFA threshold specified in section 36(1) of the Act will not be exceeded by the recipient receiving the proposed assistance. Upon receipt of this confirmation, successful organisations have been issued with an MFA confirmation.

A full breakdown of the PCC approved project funding and how they are expected to contribute to the Police and Crime Plan, and thus provide value for money, is provided in the supporting documentation to this decision notice.

2. List of additional information attached as appendices

Grants Guidance Notes

Full List of Small Grant + Road Safety Awards 24-25

3. Expected benefits

The annual grants process is comprehensive.  It has been openly advertised, and applications encouraged from all stakeholders including potentially new and existing grant recipients, who could identify projects that would help progress Police and Crime Plan objectives.  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 to ensure that outcomes are delivered and value for money achieved.  The supporting documentation outlines some of the key benefits that have been identified as part of specific project approvals.

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. The grants process helps to develop good working relationships and such arrangements might be stifled in the absence of such a process.

5. Costs (including any identified savings)

Details on specific awards are included in the supporting documentation. The total budget available for small and road safety grant awards in 2024/25 is £300,000.

6. Equality considerations

All relevant policies apply.

7. Legal comments

All legal advice effecting the grants process has been followed.

8. Social or Environmental considerations

A number of the projects supported through the grants scheme, are aimed at improving social issues, and are delivered by local organisations.

9. 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 the grant awards will be met from within the 2024/25 PCC budget. Road Safety grants will be funded from the ringfenced road safety reserve.

Grant awards are subject to various due diligence checks, and terms and conditions for each of the awards have been issued.  Recipients will be required to agree to these prior to any payments being made.  The terms and conditions include the return of any unspent funding at year end and the performance and outputs from projects will be monitored during the year to ensure that they meet the agreed outcomes and the priorities in the Police and Crime Plan and deliver value for money

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.