Community groups and residents’ associations bidding for money to improve their area are being asked to provide feedback to show whether they succeeded in their aims.
The request for feedback comes after Brighton and Hove City Council said that there was previously no “clear and consistent way” of measuring the impact of projects funded by the council’s Estates Development Budget.
The budget was set up to improve the quality of life for council tenants and leaseholders and to encourage them to become more involved in decision-making.
Bids to the Estates Development Budget should aim to improve buildings or land owned by the council’s Housing Revenue Account – or benefit the community itself or community facilities.
Changes are being made to the scheme such as having two rounds of bids a year for bigger projects – up to £10,000 – to speed up decisions.
And there will be fewer bidding rounds – six rather than ten – for smaller projects worth up to £1,000 each so that decision-making panels don’t have to meet as often.
A report about the scheme, and the changes to the scheme, is due to be discussed next week at the council’s Housing Management Panel – West Hove and Portslade Area.
The report said: “We’re asking groups to plan how they’re going to gather feedback from their communities on whether their project has achieved its objectives, using this information to help groups celebrate their successes.”
And after concerns were raised previously about the way in which bids would be scored, the report said: “If it’s a straightforward bid, we wouldn’t ask for the same level of information as a complex project.”
The £320,000 Estates Development Budget is a regular hot topic at the council’s housing panels, as residents bid for support for specific projects.
The panels are made up of council tenants and leaseholders, councillors and housing officials.
Bids can come from constituted residents’ associations, informal community groups and even individuals as long as there is a “clear benefit to tenants and leaseholders” and evidence of community consultation and backing.
The report said that the process is intended to help get people engaged with the council and to help strengthen communities.
It said: “We encourage people to reach out to their neighbours and discuss the ideas with them, as well as involving them in the development process.”
The west area receives just over £67,000 of the budget, as does the central area of Brighton and Hove. Both have just under 2,500 council homes each.
The east area, with 3,800 council homes, receives £104,000 and the north area, with almost 3,000 homes, receives £80,000.
The Housing Management Panel meeting for the West Hove and Portslade Area is scheduled to start at 2pm on Tuesday (14 December).