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Update On Community First

17 Feb 2012 - 11:38 by michelle.foster

Community First runs from 2012-2015.
This is Year 1. Year 1 ends on 31 March 2012

Panels
Several panels have now submitted registrations.
In order to carry over funding allocations from Year 1 Panels must be registered AND Panels must have submitted their local priorities (up to 5) to CDF via their website BEFORE 31st March 2012 and have committed the spend to projects by June.
MACC is currently contacting all wards via regen teams to support wards to get panels registered. Interim panels may be set up to get the initiative up and running and then Panels may wish to review/expand membership according to ward demographics etc. MACC are able to facilitate this process.

Once registered, Lead contacts will receive emails containing information on next steps from CDF. MACC has copies of all of this information.

Priorities
Each Panel needs to agree a maximum of 5 local priorities. Each Ward has an existing local Plan and Elected Members / Ward Officers can advise on what these are. Local priorities might complement these. The programme should be a vehicle to bring resources into an area rather than taking people out.
Some examples might be:
• To improve use of green spaces
• To increase weekend activities for young people
• To improve access to facilities for older people
• To increase opportunities for different communities to interact
• Address vandalism in the area (through activities or cleanups)

Monitoring
This programme is designed to be electronic. Groups must apply for funding electronically, Panels must submit recommendations to CDF electronically. We know that this will be difficult for some groups and we will work to ensure as much information and support is available locally.

Groups in receipt of CF grants must keep Panels informed of progress and submit information for Panel web pages. CDF will take responsibility for ensuring any other monitoring requirements are met.

Each panel must have a web presence. It is important that this is regularly updated as this will be the medium through which Panels are monitored. There will be a section for Community First created in the next week or so on Manchester Community Centrals website. Panels can either –
Use the tools provided by CDF through “posterous” and have a link to the Manchester Community Central site OR
Request a dedicated Panel Page on Manchester Community Centrals site and send information to us to be uploaded.

Applying for / approving grants
CDF will send each Panel information about this.
Key things to remember
• Grants can be for between £250 - £2500
• There needs to be £1 per £1 match (see section on Match)
• Groups can re-apply in subsequent years provided they have completed adequate monitoring returns (unless the Panel dictates otherwise in its Terms of Reference)
• Panel Terms of Reference need to be clear about conflict of interest – this means Panel members should declare any interests in any of the applications made to Panel and withdraw from that decision making process
• Panels need to think about how they will manage the grant application process. What deadlines will you set for applications to be received by the Panel?
• Once Panels recommend applications to CDF for funding there will be a turnaround of between 2-4 weeks. CDF will contact successful groups to arrange grant payment. This is not the responsibility of the Panel.

Match
CF funding must be matched £1 for £1. Examples of what the match could be:
• In-kind – free products / free room hire / free heating or lighting / free advertisement
• Volunteer time – this will automatically be costed for you on the application form at a rate of £11.09 per hour of time
• Cash / other funding. You can use cash donations, cash raised from grassroots funding initiatives such as bag-packs, car washes etc. You can also use matched funding from other sources, grants and trusts. (However, CF money cannot be matched with other public money so this means CASH or other City Council grants can’t be used but RSLs in your area may have small grants that they are happy to be used as match.)

National partners and supporters
ASDA are a named national partner and CDF will issue more information on their role when it is clear.
UK Online are also supporters and so we are looking to develop relationships with UK Online Centres locally to enable access to internet and IT support where needed.

For further information or support with Community First Panels / applications, please contact us on: info@mcrcommunitycentral.org.

February 2012

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