Ripon charities could still get ‘pot of gold’

Karen Weaver, Harrogate and Ripon CVS Chief Executive, pictured second left, at last year's Harrogate CVS 25th anniversary celebrations.
Karen Weaver, Harrogate and Ripon CVS Chief Executive, pictured second left, at last year's Harrogate CVS 25th anniversary celebrations.
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Ripon City Coun Alan Skidmore has revealed there might be “a pot of gold” available for community organisations to bid for in December.

Many groups were left disappointed in July when the council’s Finance and General Purposes Committee confirmed the grants it was making in 2014-15, with grant requests received by the council far in excess of the just-over £10,000 available.

But at a meeting of Ripon City Council on Monday, Coun Skidmore said the council had done some work on its budget and there will now be an opportunity for organisations to bid on an additional amount of funding.

“We had to be very careful this year when setting the budget as there had to be a balanced budget as we slightly overspent last year,” he 
said.

“When we made the decision we didn’t have the money but we have done some work, and through some good husbandry and a little bit of luck, I believe when the committee meets in December or January there will be an opportunity for me to report to them that we do have an extra little pot of gold. Then it will be up to the committee to decide who they want that little pot of gold to go to. When you look at all the charities it is difficult, especially when we had so little to give. There were areas that we disagreed with.

“We will notify all of the applicants that did not get a grant in July and say we have a small amount of money to give out.”

In July, the Finance and General Purposes Committee allocated 49 per cent of the total funding available to GRIP – the Greater Ripon Improvement Partnership, with just over £5,000 to be shared between the other organisations.

Harrogate and Ripon Centres for Voluntary Service were one of the charities to miss out on funding completely after initially requesting £7,500 in July.

CVS Chief Executive, Karen Weaver, spoke at the meeting on Monday night and said the decision not to allocate any funding to the charity was “quite a blow”.

She said: “The complete ending of support wasn’t something we had planned for or anticipated as we had already had a big cut from £7,000 to £4,000.

“I do appreciate the tough choices facing the city council and we are hopeful that the new organisation had been sufficiently active and effective in the city to demonstrate the benefits of investing in 
us.

“We’re not expecting preferential treatment but I look forward to having the opportunity to be reconsidered.”