Community Contracts closing date likely to be extended - 11/02/2005Wanganui District Council's Strategy Committee has recommended that the closing date for applications for 2005/06 Community Contracts funding be extended to March 10.
At its meeting held on Thursday, February 10, the Strategy Committee received an update on the Community Contracts process.
The matter had been considered by the Community Committee on February 2. The recommendations made at that meeting (including that the funding process be immediately reviewed and current applications be held over until after the review) had created confusion in the community about the application process for 2005/06, Strategy Committee Deputy Chair Ray Stevens said. (Cr Stevens chaired the Strategy Committee during consideration of the Community Contracts item after Chairperson Graeme Taylor declared an interest).
"The Strategy Committee is recommending to the Council that applications for funding for the 2005/06 year close on Thursday, March 10," Cr Stevens said.
"Applications were due to close on February 14 but, because of the confusion, we want to extend that to give organisations a fair opportunity to proceed with applications for 2005/06. Committee members also wanted to make sure that a review of the current system was done thoroughly, rather than being rushed through."
The Community Committee had earlier recommended that the funding process be reviewed immediately but yesterday the Strategy Committee agreed that the review should take place prior to the 2006/07 funding round. This means that the existing criteria and application forms would be used for 2005/06 applications. The amended closing date would still enable the applications to be assessed in March and the successful applications to be listed in the Council's Draft Annual Plan which is due to be published in early April.
In addition, the Strategy Committee has recommended that funding for next year's Community Contracts be capped at the 2004/05 level ($468,370).
All Councillors are members of the Strategy Committee and yesterday's recommendations were passed unanimously, with only Mayor Michael Laws absent from the meeting.
The recommendations will now go to the Council meeting to be held on Monday, February 21, for a final decision.