Help fund us to meet our objectives
The Forum team have been working hard for many months to consult local residents and businesses and community organisations about what policies we would like to see in the Emsworth Neighbourhood Plan. We now have a first draft but a lot more work is needed to get it ready for consultation and then to referendum of all ward electors. All the Emsworth Forum’s work is managed by a brilliant team of local volunteers with donations of time and resources from local businesses and residents. We are very grateful for all their generous support. We only pay for goods and services that we cannot source for free.
In order to complete the Neighbourhood Plan, however, we estimate we will need to raise about £4,000. (In fact we need £12,000 but we hope to get £8,000 from central government)
If you can give us a donation, we will be able to finish the Plan quickly and do what we can to shape and protect Emsworth for the future.
If you are able to, please give as generously as you can by sending a cheque to Jan Morgan, Treasurer, Emsworth Forum, c/o Emsworth Community Association, North Street, Emsworth PO10 7DD. Or you can make a direct credit to our bank account: sort code 77-25-11, a/c no 32274260
To answer some of the questions you may have about this appeal:
- What do you need £12,000 for?
- £6,000 is needed to hire a Qualified Planning consultant who can advise us on the drafting of the plan. Neighbourhood Planning is a highly technical area and we simply do not have the professional expertise in our volunteer team to do this work. We need to get this done correctly first time – as delay will prevent us being able to influence the planning applications that are already pouring in.
- The remaining costs are administrative and printing and design of the Plan and promotional materials that support our public consultation.
Hasn’t the Forum had Government Grants?
Yes. Government grants are available to Neighbourhood Forums but are not enough to cover all the associated costs of developing a Plan. The government explicitly wants Forums to raise resources from their communities. As you will be aware, we have received grants from central government which are given for specific purposes and, as you would expect, are strictly monitored and reported on by us to the government, including copy invoices etc. We have met all their requirements. We believe we are eligible for a further grant from central government which we will apply for, but it will not cover all our required costs.
Where is money being spent?
Our main expenditure has been on planning workshops (a specific government grant) unavoidable administrative costs (Insurance, data protection, room hire, accountancy, companies house, website maintenance, stationery) and PR costs (design & print of posters and leaflets, advertising) that we have not been able to source for free. We have benefitted from heavily discounted rates from Mindworks and WebUk who maintain our website. We have also had pro bono consultancy time from members of our Committee. We are grateful to them all.
Are we getting Value for Money?
- Decisions on expenditure are made by our Management Committee and Officers Group who meet regularly and approve our budgets and accounts. We take great care to spend every penny wisely.
- Our constitution requires us to tender for expenditure over £500 and we ran such an exercise to appoint our preferred design and print agency, local firm Mindworks. However, if we are able to source those costs more cheaply elsewhere we have done so. We will run a competitive tender for the appointment of a planning consultant.
- We have all the financial safeguards you would expect of a well-run community organisation. Every cheque requires two signatures.
- A copy of our most recent accounts, prepared by local accountants Goffs and independently audited, is available on request from our Treasurer so you can see where the money has been spent.
Who else have you asked for money?
- We have already asked Havant Borough Council if they can provide any financial assistance and they have said they have no budget for it. This is disappointing as they only received £60,000 from DCLG to run the Charrette process (see below) because they have a Neighbourhood Forum in Emsworth. However, they are not required by government to give financial assistance.
- We will also be asking the Emsworth Residents Association and the Business Association for help.
- If you know of any other potential sources of funding please let us know.
Why don’t you charge a membership fee?
Hitherto our Committee has been opposed to charging our members a membership fee because
- By its very nature a Neighbourhood Forum has to include everyone in Emsworth in our activities and the fee would not give members anything extra
- It may deter people getting involved and we did not want people to feel excluded if they could not afford to pay (and there are many pensioners in Emsworth on very low incomes)
- We would need to get the approval of our membership at our AGM to charge a membership fee
We hope you agree that it would be a great shame for Emsworth if we could not complete the Plan because of lack of local support and resource.
We hope that you, our members, will consider this appeal for financial support favourably and give what you can afford.
If you have any questions or you would like to meet with us to discuss this further we would be delighted to do so. Please get in touch with our Treasurer Jan Morgan firstname.lastname@example.org