Read the minutes of Brierley Hill’s Community First Panel meeting held on 20th May 2014

Minutes of the meeting of Community First Brierley Hill held on 20th of May 2014 at St Michael’s Church commencing at 7 pm.


June Bowen, David Hoskin, Graham Hudson, Tom McCormack, Peter Plant, Tim Sunter.

Five panel members were present, so the meeting was quorate.


Rachel Harris

Declarations of interest

TS declared an interest in the Brierley Hill Christmas Festival and Brierley Hill in Bloom.  TM declared an interest in Young Leaders. Neither TS nor TM took part in any decisions relating to the projects in which they took an interest other than to provide information requested by the panel.

Minutes of the previous meeting

The minutes of the previous meeting had been circulated, and they were agreed as a true record.

Matters arising

Following the last meeting an email circular was sent out to interested parties in Brierley Hill regarding the new weighting of priorities. The web site has also been updated to include this.

The decisions of the meeting were confirmed by panel members via email.

The situation re Nine Locks Senior Citizens Social Club was explained to them and they were happy to accept the £957.50 grant.

The 2014/2015 grant for St Paul’s could not be filed online until new internet details were received from CDF for the final year’s funding. These details were received early in April and the grant recommendation was immediately submitted.

CDF have indicated the timetable for the final year of the programme:

  • All applications for funding to be recommended to CDF by the 31st of December 2014
  • Funded groups need to have spent a grand and return the final monitoring form by 28th of February 2015
  • Ongoing monitoring and auditing will take place with selected funded groups throughout 2015

In effect the new cut off date would mean that the meeting scheduled for 18 November would be the last one at which recommendations could by reached by the panel without special arrangements being made.It was agreed to keep the January and May 2015 meetings in the diaries in case they were needed.

Grants to date

A list of the grants agreed to date was circulated prior to the meeting. This showed that £43,909 had been recommended by the panel up to the end of the 2013 – 2014 year.

GH raised the concern with regards to Hawbush Community Gardens. There was a question of whether the grant of £945.97 had been spent. A recent meeting had shown that financial records may not have been up to date. The panel discussed this issue and agreed:

  • To email the CDF pointing out the concern and asking if a monitoring form has been submitted.
  • To ask if the money, if not committed, could be fired to another scheme in the Brierley Hill area.
  • But, if the Community Gardens scheme could be continued, the panel would be happy for the money to be used in the way originally intended, as long as proper financial records and lines of accountability were established.

TS reported that Brierley Hill in Bloom had arranged to purchase and fit the planters in the High Street through Dudley MBC. Effectively the planters would remain the property of the Brierley Hill in Bloom project, but the ownership by Dudley MBC would ensure that any liability should an accident take place on the public highway would be covered by them rather than the Bloom group. The panel agreed this was a sensible approach. It also ensured that, should any planters be damaged, the council’s insurance would meet the cost of replacement.

TS further reported that in line with previous discussions the residue of the Brierley Hill Christmas Festival funds would be transferred to Dudley Council for Voluntary Service and would be spent in accordance with the ground conditions on the December 6 Christmas Lights Festival. This was noted by the panel.

Grant applications

The panel noted that £2250 had been committed for the St Paul’s Community Learning Centre out of funds available for this year. This left £20,378 to be allocated.

Grant applications had been received from AgeUK Dudley Springboard (£1755),   Amblecote Christian Centre (£1060), Alzheimer’s Support Group (£1020) and Young Leaders (£2500).

An email from RH was read to the meeting outlining some of the concerns she had regarding the applications. The key questions centred around whether the proposed beneficiaries were primarily residents in Brierley Hill ward. The panel noted that in the past it had decided against funding projects with borough wide beneficiaries as this diluted the ward-based focus of Community First.

TM, who had declared an interest in Young Leaders, was asked for information regarding the catchment area of the users of this service. He explained that the philosophy underlying the project was the leaders taught the older youths who in turn became leaders for the youngest participants. The majority of the young people involved lived in the Brierley Hill area. Having heard this reassurance the panel agreed to recommend that Young Leaders receive £2500 as requested.

TM agreed to ask the Alzheimer’s Support Group for further information about their scheme. TS agreed to write to Amblecote Christian Centre and AgeUK Dudley Springboard requesting further reassurances for the panel. It was agreed that rather than delay consideration of these applications to the next round of meetings, the responses should be circulated and decisions made by email.

Any other urgent business

There was no other urgent business

Dates of future meetings

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

Community First

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