Community Initiatives Committee
Tuesday 12th January 2010
Present: Jonathan Byrne, Hazel Francey (Chair), Hassan Mansour, Eamonn Oakes
In Attendance: Frances Dennison, Judith Hamilton, Sharon Hobson (minute taker), Paul Jordan, Damien McNally, Dr Duncan Morrow, Roisin Montague
Maura Muldoon, Robin Morton, Sylvia Gordon, David Porter
Introductions were made for the benefit of new committee members and staff.
2. Minutes of Previous Meeting CIC/12/01/10/02
Ms Francey asked if any action had been taken on the suggestion that a booklet based on Beacon Projects be put together (CIC/08/09/09/02). Mr Jordan advised the committee that he had discussions with Ray Mullan in relation to this and that this will hopefully be taken forward at the end of this year when all supported work has been completed. .
No other issues were raised and the previous minutes were agreed.
3.Matters Arising CIC/12/01/10/03
The Live Issues conference is scheduled for 11th March 2010 in Armagh City Hotel.
Ms Montague will be issuing a programme covering January – March for events to take place in Dungannon.
4. Officer’s Reports
4.1 Core Funding CIC/12/01/10/04
Ms Dennison provided an overview of the Core Funding scheme for the benefit of new members. There are currently 12 renewal applications for Core Funding, and 19 new applications to be considered by the Committee
Issues arose through discussion of the Core Funding application and renewal process:
· It is difficult for new groups to qualify for funding as the budget has not been increased for a number of years
· There has been uncertainty regarding future funding available to the Core Funding scheme, therefore previous committees decided to offer continued funding to existing groups rather than initiate contracts with new groups
· Committee can decide to support a new group or direct resources to established groups that are doing good work
· In previous years, committees had considered all renewal applications in the first instance and new applications were subject to consideration based on the limited resources available after this process. This meant that in many cases, there was not enough available resources to offer contracts to new applications.
· This meeting considers eligibility for renewal groups only so that any unsuccessful group is given adequate notice that the core funding contract will end in March 2010
· There has been a consistency in the groups funded over the past three years
· Groups rejected for Core Funding are referred to other schemes e.g. Pathfinder or small grants
· A question was asked around the possibility of groups sharing resources if their work is similar and if they complement one another. Mr Jordan replied that this type of merger must be entered into voluntarily by the groups and that past practice has shown that these types of funded partnerships are not always successful.
Ms Francey asked if the application forms and criteria had been updated and were in plain English. Mr Jordan advised that the forms have changed over the past few years but that committee could consider a revision of the forms. Ms Dennison said that some of the questions were open to interpretation and that the questions did lead to duplication and answers being duplicated. The forms require some work so that they extract the information required for assessment. Mr Jordan suggested that he and Ms Dennison could send copies of the application form to Committee members and further discussion around this would be required at the May committee meeting in advance of the scheme reopening in September 2010.
4.2 Community Relations/Cultural Diversity CIC/12/01/10/04
Mr Jordan announced that the 2009/2010 scheme has been extended due to the availability of slippage funds. It is open until 29th January and there have been a lot of queries.
Ms Hamilton attended the Let’s Talk Politics event funded by CRCD. It was very informative and Mr Mansour agreed that projects involving regular people, rather than those already trained in community relations, were a refreshing change.
Ms Montague was the project officer for Belleek and District Community Partnership’s ‘Age Knows No Borders’ event. She said that the community relations training programme had a good turn around.
Ms Francey asked what areas of the country were mostly dealt with by CRCD. Mr Jordan advised that a mapping exercise takes place, and the results are published in the annual report.
4.3 Research Awards CIC/12/01/10/04
Mr Jordan said that there were two research projects ongoing. The first draft would be finished in March, with the final draft finished by April.
5 Overview of Core Funding Programme Assessment Process CIC/12/01/10/05
Ms Dennison described the scoring process for renewal applications. She informed members that full assessments had been carried out by herself and Mr Jordan.
6 Renewal Applications CIC/12/01/10/06
12 renewal applications have been received and committee are required to consider the assessment officers indicative scores for eligibility only. Applications reaching the minimum eligibility threshold of 21 will go forward to the February for committee consideration.
Eligibility score of 24.5 agreed. Linc eligible for further consideration.
Eligibility score of 27.5 agreed. BIP eligible for further consideration.
Eligibility score of 20 agreed.
Ms Dennison advised committee that although Tinderbox show commitment to community relations work this proposal was weak in a number of areas and so has not reached the minimum eligibility threshold.
Mr McNally commented on the difficulties faced when evaluating the current contracted work and noted that it was difficult to identify the community relations value in the final culmination of the work – in this case a theatre based performance.
Duncan Morrow arrived.
Committee agreed the eligibility score and it was suggested that Tinderbox be referred to the CRCD small grants scheme. Another funder who focused more specifically on the arts could be sought for them.
Mr Jordan added that their process and end product require stronger community relations content. Committee were informed that there are other theatre/ drama based organisations who are in receipt of Core Funding, so the work of Tinderbox does not fulfill a gap in the programme.
Ms Dennison is to inform the group of committee’s decision in writing today.
Eligibility score of 23 agreed. REACT eligible for further consideration
Eligibility score of 24 (and not 23 as written on the assessment) agreed. PAKT eligible for further consideration
Eligibility score of 26 agreed. Kilcranny House eligible for further consideration
Eligibility score of 25 agreed. Interaction Belfast eligible for further consideration
Eligibility score of 26 agreed. WEA eligible for further consideration
Eligibility score of 23 agreed. Intercomm eligible for further consideration
Community Relations Forum:
Eligibility score of 22 agreed. CRF eligible for further consideration
Rural Community Network:
Eligibility score of 26 agreed. RCN eligible for further consideration
Eligibility score of 21 agreed. Fermanagh Trust eligible for further consideration
8 Recommendation to Committee re: Annual Work Plans CIC/12/01/10/08
Mr McNally has been asking core funded groups to submit workplans. He proposed that from October 2010 all new applications must be accompanied by workplans, as this information could be used at the December and February committee meetings.
The Committee approved the proposal.
Mr Oakes left.
7 Evaluation Paper CIC/12/01/10/07
Mr McNally said that workplans were informing evaluation reports. He will raise any issues discovered through his evaluations when the applications are discussed in more detail at the February meeting.
9 List of New Applications CIC/12/01/10/09
Ms Dennison said that at this point, there would be at least six of the new applications scored under the eligibility threshold and therefore would be unlikely to require further committee consideration. It was agreed that these eligibility assessments would be circulated to committee members by email prior to the next meeting. If committee agree the indicative scores then the applications would be declined and would not be given further consideration at the next meeting.
10 AOB CIC/12/01/10/10
Dr Morrow thanked staff for their work to date.
11 Date of Next Meeting CIC/12/01/10/11
Thursday 11th February 2010 in CRC’s Belfast office, 9.30am – 4.30pm.