Posted by: westlancashirerecord | April 10, 2018

Is This The Local Economics Of The Local Economic Illiterati?

You may have you heard the phrase “matched funding” bandied around the local economic funding of services? It arose during the Aughton Parish Council (APC) meeting last night after the chairman was asked about progress on the SPIDs for Aughton. He briefly mentioned matched funding for the project . So whose money matches the funding? You get one guess!

In February I had asked WLBC under Freedom of Information Act “Which, if any, West Lancashire parish councils have been awarded WLBC grants, either wholly or in part, to assist them in the purchase of SPIDs and if any have been awarded a) what was the value of each grant b) what conditions applied to the funding c) what conditions if any apply to maintenance of the SPIDs d) what budget exists within WLBC for donations to parish councils for SPIDs and e) is any means testing used by WLBC to ascertain the value of parish council accounts before SPID grants are awarded? Please include any and all such requests for the past three years up to and including February 2018”.

The initial reply “Thank you for your email of 15th February in which you requested information concerning grants to parish councils for SPIDs. There have been two Parish Councils successful in Capital Grant applications in the 3 year period to February 2018, for assistance with the purchase of SPIDs. Parbold [Band D precept £33.94] was paid a total amount of £4,844.50. Downholland [Band D precept £37.12] has to date been paid an amount of £1,945.22 (part payment). Capital Grant applications are subjected to a scoring criteria to ascertain which Parish Councils will be awarded the funding. The Borough Council is not responsible for the maintenance of these SPIDs. Instead it is expected that the Parish Council will maintain them and keep them in good order, but there are no specific requirements on this. A SPID capital application was received from Aughton Parish Council [Band D precept £16.29] in February 2018, but no decision has been made on this application at this time”. We now await the decision, as the money-go-round goes around.

The council tax for West Lancashire Borough Council for the average Band D property in 2018-19 will be £197.49 per year or £3.80 a week. Your council tax bill goes towards providing funding for a range of local authorities. Just over 11% of the total council tax bill comes to the Borough Council. The total council tax bill includes charges from Lancashire County Council, Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service and Lancashire Constabulary. The council tax for some areas will also include a parish council precept. This year “West Lancashire Borough Council + 2.99% = 11.37%; Lancashire County Council + 5.99% = 74.54%; Lancashire Fire Authority + 2.99% = 3.88%; Police and Crime Commissioner + 7.25% = 10.21%” .

“Matched funding is a form of incentivised giving. During match funding campaigns, every donation is either guaranteed or given an equal chance of being matched. The illiteratti are people who are not well educated or well informed about a particular subject or sphere of activity.

“A council tax is set by each individual authority and authorities are able to retain all of the funding raised from council tax in their area to support their budget. The Match Funding Grants aims to provide that vital bit of funding that can help start or finish local community projects. The main purpose of this funding is to help secure or attract external funding either from other local organisations or from regional and national funding bodies.

“Local projects sometimes need that first bit of funding to help bring in more or need that final amount to meet total project costs and secure funding already achieved”.

So, just to be clear, as the money, your, our, money goes around, a hand from the APC, cash asset riches of £109,239, under the new Localised Council Tax Support: the new approach to the Precept Calculation paying a grant of £2,455 plus precept of £56,957, reaches out for SPID matching funds , that started life in the hands of Aughton’s residents! Not so much incentivised giving as incentivised grabbing!

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