Community Support Fund

Guidance notes on applying for a grant to Minster-on-Sea Parish Council’s Community Support Fund


The Social Value Act 2012 places a requirement on commissioners to consider the economic, environmental and social benefits of their approaches to procurement before the process starts. In these difficult economic times, it is particularly important that the maximum value in public spending is achieved.

The Act requires organisations to make the following consideration at the pre-procurement stage:

  • How what is being proposed to be procured might improve the economic, social and environmental well-being of the relevant area which is in this case Minster-on-Sea on the Isle of Sheppey in Kent.

How does this relate to the organisation’s Best Value duty?

The Local Government Act 1999 sets out a general Duty of Best Value for specified local government organisations to “make arrangements to secure continuous improvement in the way in which its functions are exercised, having regard to a combination of economy, efficiency and effectiveness.”

Under the Duty of Best Value, Minster-on-Sea Parish Council (MPC) will consider overall value, including economic, environmental and social value, when reviewing service provision.

About this fund

Minster-on-Sea Parish Council’s Community Support Fund is a grant scheme that supports local based projects that contribute to making Minster-on-Sea a better place to live, work, study or visit.

Minster-on-Sea Parish Council has allocated funding towards a Community Support Fund for the financial year beginning 1 April 2020 and ending 31 March 2021. During this period, the Parish Council will make available grants to organisations including voluntary groups provided they meet the criteria for eligibility and contribute to improvements to the Minster-on-Sea area.

What are the grants used for?

For any project that contributes to making Minster-on-Sea a better place including projects that contribute to the economic, social and environmental wellbeing of the area.

  • Grants can be used to support ongoing projects or combine with other grants already secured from other agencies.
  • For the start up costs of a project;
  • Grants cannot be used to support items which should be funded by mainstream public expenditure, and under local government regulations grants cannot be awarded to individuals.
  • The project must exist within the public realm and cannot be used to fund projects on private property.
  • Grants should not support political or directly religious activity.
  • Only one application per project can be submitted during the year.

 Who can apply?

 Incorporated organisations such as registered charities

  • Companies limited by guarantee
  • Social Enterprises and
  • Statutory Organisations / Public Bodies

To be successful, your organisation must have a legitimate interest in improving the local area.

Making an application

Applications are made by completing and submitting the Application Form. Forms can be obtained from Trish Hamilton, Parish Clerk via (01795) 873831 or by e-mailing or by request from the Parish Council Office based at Love Lane, Minster-on-Sea ME12 2LP.

When you submit your application, please include details of:

  • Any affiliation with other organisations or governing bodies
  • A Business Plan
  • Planning permission (if appropriate)
  • A Risk Assessment of the project (if appropriate)
  • Two quotes from contractors as to how much the work will cost (if appropriate)
  • Your organisation’s Safeguarding Children and Vulnerable Adults policy
  • Your organisation’s End of Year Accounts Statement supported by a copy of the End of Year Bank Statement and a copy of your organisation’s most recent Bank Statement.
  • How you plan to maintain your project once the funding has been spent (under the sustainability section)
  • Who will benefit including your commitment to equality and diversity;
  • Other grants and funding sources for the project;
  • Confirmation that all staff members that train, supervise or provide guidance clearly directed to 18-year olds and under have current, clear, DBS disclosures and that these are renewed every three years
  • A completed Equality and Diversity Form

Applications should be sent to the Finance and General Purposes Committee at Minster-on-Sea Parish Council Office, Love Lane, Minster-on-Sea, Sheerness, Kent ME12 2LP. It would not be appropriate for Parish Councillors to comment on any application prior to submission as this could impact on their requirement to remain impartial during the selection process.

What are the criteria?

Applications should demonstrate that they are a local based project that contributes to making Minster-on-Sea a better place to live, work, study or visit. If your project links to the Parish Council’s priorities, please make this clear in your application.

This year MPC priorities relate to the seven outcome frameworks in the Public Services (Social Value Act) Act 2012. They are: –

Achieving a stronger community which requires: –

  • People of all ages to take pride in their community
  • More people to become involved in planning, decision making and delivering services
  • Increased levels of harmony between new and existing communities and between diverse cultures
  • More people to make a positive contribution to the community

Achieving a safer community which requires: –

  • Reduced levels of crime
  • Reduced levels of anti-social behaviour
  • Reduced fear of crime and anti-social behaviour
  • Reduced alcohol and drug misuse
  • More people are safe in their homes and local communities

Improving health and wellbeing which requires contribution to:

  • A sense of wellbeing and community cohesion
  • Quality of the local area and environment
  • Health and mental well-being
  • Access and opportunities

 Children and young people with contributions required to: –

  • Enable more children and young people to make positive choices
  • More children and young people benefit from a good start in life and achieve their full potential
  • More children and young people are safe
  • Improved health and wellbeing for children and young people
  • More children and young people make a positive contribution to their community

Older people with contributions required to: –

  • Improved quality of life and increased wellbeing
  • Increased healthy life expectancy
  • More older people leading active, safe and independent lives
  • More older people actively engaged in their communities

Economy with contributions required to:

  • A more skilled and flexible workforce
  • Increased employment opportunities and levels
  • A sustainable and growing economy
  • Increased inward investment into local business
  • Increased opportunities for physical regeneration
  • A reduced prosperity gap and increased social mobility

Improving local infrastructure and the environment requires: –

  • Reduced carbon emissions
  • A high quality, sustainable, built and green environment
  • An attractive high-profile destination, to live work, study and visit.

Who will assess the bids?

Each application will be assessed by Minster-on-Sea Parish Council’s Finance and General Purposes Committee (with no exceptions) to ensure it meets the criteria. Applications must be presented in person by the applicant or the applicant’s representative so that the Committee has the opportunity to ask questions. The Finance and General Purposes Committee will pass on its recommendation to the Full Council who will make the final decision on whether to approve funding or decline the application. Applicants will then be notified of the decision in writing by the Parish Clerk.   Incomplete applications i.e. those that have not supplied all the information requested under ‘Making an application’ on page 2 will not qualify.

Other relevant information: Despite Minster-on-Sea Parish Council currently meeting the criteria to use the General Power of Competence, this power will only be used in exceptional circumstances; all future grant applications must be supported by a second discretionary power available for use by the Parish Council.

Grant Conditions

In accepting any grant offered, the organisation must confirm that;

  • The allocation offered will go exclusively towards the capital needs of the project originally submitted.
  • The aims and expected outcomes of that project have not altered since it was submitted.
  • Should any of the above change, it will notify Minster-on-Sea Parish Council immediately and repay forthwith the grant (or part of it) if so required.

How will bids be prioritised?

It is expected that a number of grants will exceed the available resources. Therefore, if needed, the following criteria will be used to prioritise bids:

  1. Outcomes and impact – projects that can evidence a benefit to the community;
  2. Links to strategies – the degree to which the project links to the strategies targets and priorities of Minster-on-Sea Parish Council listed above;
  3. Leverage – the percentage ratio of match funding to the amount of the bid (the higher the ratio of match funding – the higher the bid will be ranked) Consideration will also be given to the degree the project can demonstrate ‘in kind’ support – e.g. donations of land, property or professional expertise provided to support the project.

Monitoring and evaluation

A monitoring form must be sent back no later than six months after the grant has been paid. The monitoring form will be provided by Minster-on-Sea Parish Council and sent with the grant offer letter. Minster-on-Sea Parish Council will also require evidence, through relevant invoices, bank statements or accounts, or a progress report of how the grant has been spent. If the applicant fails to fulfil these obligations, Minster-on-Sea Parish Council will request an immediate return of the grant payment.

Grant distribution programme

Funding will be awarded during the financial year, subject to applications meeting the required criteria until all monies within the fund has been distributed.