Issue details

Commissioning Support from the VCS

Maidstone Borough Council has traditionally provided grants to community organisations for the provision of support to Maidstone residents.  Over time the budget for this provision has had to reduce.  There are three community grants in place with Maidstone Mediation, CAB and Involve Kent.  In January 2017 the Communities, Housing and Environment Committee agreed to reduce the budget for these services by 5% per annum over a five-year period.  The current budget for the three community grants is £163,000.


In November 2021, the Communities, Housing and Environment (CHE) Committee agreed to a three-year grant without reducing the overall budget, thereby providing the same level of funding for the supplier.


Legal advice was that as the Service Level Agreements (SLAs) in place were grant agreements, not contracts, there was no procurement tendering process to follow.   However, good practice would be to review the arrangements and undertake market testing on what was available.


Responsibility for the oversight of the grants was moved in early 2022 from the Head of Housing and Regulatory Services to the Head of Policy Communications and Governance (now Director of Strategy, Insight and Governance).


To allow time for review, the agreements were renewed on 1 April 2022 for one year only and are due to expire on 31 March 2023.


This record of decision details the review that has been undertaken, its findings, conclusions and recommendations.


The issues for decision are:


To note the findings of the Review of Commissioning Support from the Voluntary and Community Sector; and


To agree changes to the SLAs in place with Voluntary and Community Sector organisations to provide services that the Council either does not provide itself or to supplement services by providing a more in-depth or greater level of expertise than the Council can provide with its own resources.


Decision type: Non-key

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Notice of proposed decision first published: 04/11/2022

Decision due: 27 Feb 2023 by Lead Member for Communities and Public Engagement

Lead director: Director of Strategy, Insight and Governance

Department: Policy and Communications

Contact: Anna Collier, Head of Insight, Communitites & Governance Policies, Communities and Engagement Email:


Agenda items


  • Commissioning Support from the VCS