Decision details

Neighbourhood Plans and Area Forum Funding

Decision Maker: Cabinet

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: Yes

Is subject to call in?: Yes


Approach for developing local plans and clarification of funding streams to be decided through Area Forums.


A report of the Chief Executive provided an overview of the Council’s Neighbourhood Plan consultation and proposals to develop action plans for each area forum based on information received from local communities during the consultation exercise undertaken by the Council.  The report also set out the results of the participatory budgeting exercise undertaken in respect of the Empty Shops Fund and Funds for You/Public Health funding.  The report finally outlined proposals for the future development of the Area Forums, including the re-establishment of the Chairs’ Group.


The Chief Executive presented an addendum to the report which contained further recommendations which had been agreed by Ward Councillors.  It was noted that this information had not been available at the time the Cabinet’s agenda for this meeting had been published.


The addendum informed that the Revival Hub application for the Oxton and Prenton Area Forum had been approved and agreed by Ward Councillors for the original amount of £8,000.  Further to the October 2011 Area Forum event, the applicant had identified alternative premises that better suited the needs of the project’s aim and objectives and had requested additional monies accordingly.  Ward Councillors had considered and agreed the revised amount requested of £13,000.


Consequently, the Cabinet was asked to approve the revised allocation for the project and agree that the £4,500 remaining Empty Shops Fund for this area would remain available to be used by the Oxton and Prenton Area Forum, in line with their Neighbourhood Plan priorities, as outlined in section 7.3 of the report.


Section 6.1 of the report requested the Chief Executive to be given delegated authority, in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Community and Customer Engagement, to approve funding for all multiple applications and those relating to the Bromborough/Eastham Area Forum.


However, as the funding decisions for all multiple applications and those relating to the Bromborough/Eastham Area Forum were now available and had been agreed by Ward Councillors, the Cabinet was, therefore, requested to approve the award of funding for these projects.


Mr L MacDonald of the Eastham Community Group was in attendance at the meeting and Councillor S Foulkes agreed to his request to ask a question.  Mr MacDonald informed that people had not known of the process to be followed and asked if Groups should not have been told in advance.  Mr MacDonald sought clarification because the set of rules available at the Area Forum meeting did not make reference to the fact that the decision was to be referred back to the Ward Members.


Councillor T Harney who was also in attendance at the meeting, and had Chaired the Area Forum meeting Mr MacDonald was asking questions about, informed that it had been agreed that Area Forum members would vote.  No decision had been made that was not in accordance with the vote.  He indicated that the Area Forum would look at the submissions again.  Councillor Harney reminded the Cabinet that this was public money, and, as such, there must be a final sign off.


Mr MacDonald told the Cabinet he was concerned about the process not the result.


The Corporate Performance Manager was also in attendance at the meeting and she reported that the Protocols had been published on the Council’s website and that a reference to them had been included in the presentation made at the Area Forum meeting.  Officers would be carrying out evaluations and they would engage with Mr MacDonald and discuss his concern.


Councillor J Stapleton informed that the consultation had been very meaningful and staff had found it rewarding.  She congratulated the staff involved and who had worked well and gone the extra mile.




(1)  the themes that have emerged from the Neighbourhood Plan consultation be noted and used to inform the setting of the Council’s budget for 2012/13;


(2)  the Cabinet be requested to approve the award of the Empty Shops Fund and Funds for You / Public Health funding as set out at appendices 1 and 2 of this report;


(3)  the award of funding for Empty Shops Fund and Funds for You/Public Health Funding as set out in the addendum to the report be agreed; and


(4)  delegate authority be given to the Acting Director of Regeneration, Housing and Planning, in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Planning Strategy, to approve the award of any additional funds for Empty Shops Fund as set out in paragraph 6.5.  This delegated authority is also requested to approve funding recommendations arising from the extension of the Empty Shops Fund opportunity.

Report author: Chief Executive

Publication date: 29/11/2011

Date of decision: 24/11/2011

Decided at meeting: 24/11/2011 - Cabinet

Effective from: 07/12/2011

Accompanying Documents: