Funding for community groups, charities and businesses

Guidance for external bodies receiving council funding

Partnership working helps us reach our aims and objectives and we recognise the key role played by external bodies in South Lanarkshire in supporting many areas of public service delivery. Last year we gave over £7 million to the voluntary and community sectors.

Councils and external bodies have responsibilities and requirements. For the council, the provision of customer focused and value for money services, are underpinned by an accountability framework to make sure that public funds are used properly. For the external body, it might be making sure that it has the capability and capacity to deliver the service to agreed specification or conditions attached to the grant support.

If you are an external group looking for funding from the council you should read the Code of Guidance on Funding External Bodies and Following the Public Pound

If you are awarded funding you will deal with an appointed council officer who will:

  • ensure that proper monitoring arrangements are in place - these will be reviewed regularly
  • ask for a clear statement about how the funding will be used when agreeing to transfer funds - the reasons should be related to an approved strategy or policy and the link should be demonstrable
  • recover funds if they are not used for the purpose that has been stated
  • explain any requirements we have of you to operate in a particular way, including any specific outputs or outcomes being anticipated for the funding award. This would normally be included in the Service Level Agreement (SLA). Where an SLA is not appropriate, the requirements will be included in the advice of funding award letter
  • give you a timetable for the achievement of any specific outputs and outcomes
  • carry out regular reviews of achievements and the funding relationship
  • explain how we will monitor our relationship with the external body and the reporting arrangements required
  • make sure that you keep appropriate records to demonstrate your use of public funds. In order to follow the trail of public money from the council through the external body to its destination, we must be able to access to these records, if required. This may be the case for audit purposes (both Internal and External Audit)

If we request information on financial management issues we expect your full co-operation in providing this.

Grants over £20,000

There is specific guidance for grants over £20,000). The officer assigned will:

  • consider the representation on your boards of companies which are subject to your control and to an even greater extent, on bodies which are not subject to your control
  • investigate if your organisation is properly constituted and has a management committee structure and appropriate financial management arrangements in place to be fully accountable for the proper use of any public funds awarded
  • ensure that you can demonstrate a need for our financial support, particularly if you have any free reserves available - you should be able to explain why any free reserves are being held
  • if a Service Level Agreement is required - if it is it will set out the basis of the award and what would be expected from your organisation in return, including any performance monitoring requirements (levels and timescales as appropriate)

Monitoring compliance

We must ensure that arrangements for funding external bodies and following the public pound are in place, based on the principles set out above. 

We will keep adequate records when issuing grants to all external bodies, as these may be subject to a process of review on an annual basis.

Related content

  1. Funding for community groups, charities and businesses
  2. Guidance for external bodies receiving council funding