Reductions in Grants to External Organisations Consultation

Response to the consultation

For full findings of each consultation, a summary of the findings and the Equality Consultation Analysis (ECA) for each project click here  


Purpose of the consultation


What is this Consultation?

The purpose of this consultation is to invite discussion on the challenges facing Coventry City Council as we consider making changes to our Grants to Voluntary Organisations from 2016/17.


What is the issue?

Over the past few years, the Council has had a significant cut in the amount of money it gets from its main government grant. This means that we’ve had to look at the way we spend our money and, wherever possible, think about ways to make some savings. Reviewing the level of grants that we make to Voluntary Organisations is one way that we could make these savings.


What type of grants does the Council make?

The Council provides grant funding to external organisations of nearly £9m. These include payments to the large arts, cultural and sports trusts in the city, a number of advice and advocacy organisations and a variety of organisations in the health and social care sectors. The payments considered are made through 31 separate grant streams including several grant programmes that make small payments to a large number of separate groups and organisations.


How much does the Council need to save?

In our 2015/16 Budget, we included a £1.2 million saving target for Grants to Voluntary Organisations from 2016/17 onwards.


So who will this affect?

This will affect a number of our grant partners, all of which deliver services or work with other groups and individuals within the city and they too will be affected by changes to grant levels. It is important for all our grant partners and the people they serve to have their say.


Potential options for change

There are different ways the Council could change the grant payments that it pays to make the savings needed. We are consulting on the following preferred option.


Option 3 – Targeted Grant Funding Reduction

This approach makes more informed and selective decisions that some grant payments will be protected at existing levels, a small number will be stopped altogether and the remainder will be reduced by a percentage reduction. This would allow the Council to make decisions which reflect a variety of circumstances, for instance where more recent medium-term agreements have been made or where grant award savings have already been applied recently. The savings this would require against existing grant payments are set out in a detailed Appendix included as part of the consultation pages.


We have considered and discounted the following options:


Option 1 – no change

We have considered the option of not changing the current payments but this would add significant additional funding pressures on Council services for the 2016/17 budget and beyond. There are already proposals to make cuts across a wide range of services and we don’t want to add to this by not making changes that have already been assumed within our financial plans to these payments. For this reason we decided that the only forward is to make changes to the existing grant payments.


Option 2 - Proportionate Grant Funding Reduction for All Organisations

This option would incorporate a single percentage reduction in funding for all relevant grant funded organisations. This is not a preferred option. Although it has the attraction of simplicity, the Council’s view is that it should be taking this opportunity to review the current structure of its grant awards and change the balance of these awards in some key areas.



How can you help us?

We know that listening to your views will be really helpful to us as we move forward in making changes to our grant payments. So we’d like you to help us in thinking through the preferred  option above.


However, we need to be really clear about one thing – and that’s the fact that we have to make changes and reduce the level of grant payments in order to generate the savings we need.


Pre-Consultation Engagement

An initial letter was sent to our grant partners giving notice of the forthcoming consultation exercise and a meeting held with a key sector representative body to help shape the consultation exercise.


Formal Consultation

The changes we make to existing grant payments levels following the consultation exercise will from part of a formal report to Cabinet. The consultation starts on 12 October 2015 for a period of 8 weeks.


Decision making

Once the responses to the consultation have been evaluated, and a final equality analysis has been completed, we will take a report to our Cabinet on 5 January 2016 with a formal recommendation for new grant funding levels to apply from 1st April 2016.


Where can I find out more?

All of our grant partners will have an existing key point of contact at the Council and are advised to contact them if they need more information about the issues we’ve highlighted in this paper.  If you want to know more about how you can get involved, please contact: