Nine Locks Senior Citizens Club and St Paul’s Neighbourhood Learning Centre win grant support

Community First Brierley HillMinutes of the meeting of the Community First Brierley Hill panel held on Tuesday 18th March 2014 at St Michael’s Church, Bell Street South, Brierley Hill commencing at 7pm.


June Bowen, David Hoskin, Peter Plant, Tim Sunter

Three members of the panel were present so the meeting was not quorate. It was decided to press ahead with discussion of items on the agenda and ask panel members not present for their approval via email. (Please note that the recommendations contained in these minutes were subsequently agreed via email with the other panel members)


Ray Gibbs, Graham Hudson, Rachel Harris, Andrew Mann-Ray

Declarations of Interest

TS declared an interest in the Brierley Hill Christmas Festival project JB, DH and PP declared interests in St Paul’s Neighbourhood Learning Centre. Those who had declared an interest no part in the decision making process regarding the item to which such interest related other than to provide information.

Minutes of the Previous Meeting

The minutes of the previous meeting had been circulated and it was agreed that these were a true record.

Matters Arising

1. Correspondence had been received via the Blog from Luke Norris who wishes to set up a Brierley Hill Football Club. He has been directed towards our website for instructions of how to apply but no application has been received as yet.

2. A discussion had been held with CDF regarding the underspend of the Brierley Hill Christmas Festival. The Festival had proved more successful than anticipated and partners had offered more help for no payment than had been expected. It was discussed whether the surplus that remained to be spent could be used to make advance payments for this year’s festival which, it had now been confirmed, would take place on 6th December. In return for this the Festival group would not submit a further application for funding.

CDF had indicated that as long as the panel agreed and that the money was spent before the deadline and that they were kept in the loop they would be agreeable to this. The panel discussed the matter and agreed to this course of action.

Grants Report

It should be noted from the grant report that £43,909.50 has been recommended by the panel to date. In addition £325 of expenses has been claimed by the panel. This makes a total of £44,234.50.

£45192 is available for the panel to the 31st March 2014. Therefore £957.50 remains to be allocated.

Community First Priorities 2014-2015

The panel discussed its priorities for the forthcoming year – which would be the last year of Community First.

It was felt that priority should be given to activities that left a longer term impact (such as the sustainability of a group, or equipment, or building repairs) should receive the highest priorities so that the Community First funding left some kind of legacy. It was felt that events which could not demonstrate this to the panels satisfaction should be considered for funding only towards the end of the year when it was clear how much funding was left.

The panel agreed that:

  • Priority for the year 2014-2014 should be given to projects which had a longer term sustainable impact
  • That the website should be changed to reflect this view
  • That all previous applicants should be written to inviting applications which met the new criterion as well as the existing objectives.


1. Nine Locks Senior Citizens Social Group.

The panel noted that the appellation showed a budget of £1950 but also a cash contribution of £450. On the basis of the information supplied it was assumed that the funding ‘gap’ was £1500.

Consideration was given to how a similar event had been recommended for support in the past and it was noted that the whole of the cost had not be covered by the Community First grant.

It was agreed therefore that to recommend £957.50 grant – roughly equivalent to the proportion granted in the earlier application. This would also allocate the whole of the remaining funds available to the panel for the present year.

It was further noted that in view of the decision on priorities made earlier in the meeting similar applications for 2014-2015 would receive a lower priority for funding.

2. St Paul’s Community Learning Centre

The grant application for repair works and CCTV for St Paul’s Community Centre was considered.

It was noted that this group had already had one application agreed for this year. Any funding would therefore have to be allocated from the 2014-2015 budget. The panel was of the view that this met the objectives of the panel and was also of a nature which represented a long term benefit for the local community.

It was therefore agreed to recommend the £2250 be approved.

Any Other Urgent Business

There was no other urgent business

Dates of Future Meetings

  • Tuesday 20th May 2014
  • Tuesday 15th July 2014
  • Tuesday 16th September 2014
  • Tuesday 18th November 2014
  • Tuesday 20th January 2015
  • Tuesday 17th May 2015

All meetings to be held at St Michael’s Church, Bell Street South, Brierley Hill.

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