View Full Version : Community council funding reviewed

30-Jun-11, 14:03
Good news for Caithness community councils

THE Highland Council has agreed a new formula for assisting community councils following a review of funding arrangements which will be phased in over two years from April 2012.
The total amount of grants to be distributed remains at £207,413 but the future share out will remove large variations in payments across the Highlands and align payments with actual running costs of community councils.
The new formula will see rural community councils receive core funding of £750 (£850 for rural community councils) and all will receive an additional 37p per elector. A rural council is one defined as having a population density of less than 8.8/sq.km – less than the Highland average.
Core funding is provided to cover the expenses of hiring premises for meetings and advertising meetings, as well as paying for stationery, postage, photocopying, telephone, IT expenses, travel and subsistence and the honorarium of the secretary.
The additional sum which recognises population could be used to fund exceptional costs, for example, consultation on a major topic.
Members also agreed that in order to support community councils, the costs for the November 2011 elections would be found from within the Chief Executive’s Service budget.
Councillor Sandy Park, Convener, said a review of financial arrangements was timely and necessary and was based on funding principles, which included the grant being more closely aligned with running costs and removed the disparity in core funding across the Highlands.
He said: “Community councils play an important role in representing the views of local people and this is recognised in the assistance we provide.
“A review of the financial arrangements was needed to reflect the new community council scheme agreed earlier in the year. We realise that some community councils will receive a reduction in funding. However, we believe we have a fairer system that will provide sufficient funding for community councils to hold elections and perform their core duties of providing their communities with a voice.”