Glasgow City Council New Grant Fund: proposals continued to after summer recess

Glasgow Equality Forum Manager Lorraine Barrie provides an update on Glasgow City Council’s review and replacement of the Integrated Grants Fund, which has major implications for delivery of equalities work, and for the third sector more widely.  Thanks to Annabelle Njenga for attending the Committee and taking notes.

Glasgow City Council has been working on creating a replacement for the Integrated Grants Fund (IGF) as part of their Strategic Plan. After consulting with the third sector at three well attended stakeholder engagement events, they took their proposals to the City Administration Committee on 27th June for approval. Papers for the meeting are available here

The Committee was invited to approve the proposed aims of the new fund, approve the proposed budget of £20m per annum for the next 3 financial years and approve the proposed budget allocation methodology.

The paper was scrutinised and questioned by elected representatives, who raised a number of concerns about the fund’s ability to reach a range of equality groups, for example it was argued that there was a lack of detail and lack of data about the impact on people from protected characteristics.  Arguments were also made about the proposed increase in funding for local work over city projects, which could negatively impact on citywide equalities work.

Elected members also raised the following concerns:

  • Nothing in the report evaluated or analysed previous learning from currently funded projects;
  • That feedback from the stakeholder meetings had not been published, and that this information would be important to consider;
  • There was discomfort over agreeing to this level of financial cuts. There was some debate about the percentage of cuts being applied. The report said a 5% cut was being applied, however numbers provided in the meeting actually equated to 7.5% to 10% cut via the fund;
  • That no analysis about potential job losses in the third sector was provided.

Cllr Layden argued that the proposals were developed after working closely with the third sector, and that people with protected characteristics had been taken into account. She suggested that a short life working group be convened to look at the proposals.

Cllr Rhodes proposed that the paper be continued to allow Committee’s comments to be considered, with a view to bringing the paper back to Committee after the summer recess.  A vote was held to decide to agree the proposals as they stood, and this was narrowly defeated (11 votes to 12).

Glasgow Equality Forum is working closely with Glasgow City Council to ensure that the views of equality groups are at the heart of any new proposals.  We submitted a policy paper too Glasgow City Council capturing our members’ views.  We are involved in contributing to the Equality Impact Assessment of the new funding proposals, and will be contributing our members’ views to the application process.