FUNDING FOR LOCAL CYCLE CAMPAIGN GROUPS FROM LOCAL AUTHORITIES
Kildare Co Co Powerpoint Information on Grants – Grants Presentation
Maynooth Cycling Campaign does not have a great need for funding but we do have a need for money for insurances, membership of Cyclist.ie, small expenses – printer paper, photocopying, ink, etc and a (small) amount for conferences/ making submissions on private planning applications ( ie non Part 8 Public Consultation). At present, there is no charge for membership although, in my opinion this will be required in the future.
What are the options particularly for small campaign groups?
Each year DTT&S provides funding for local authorities to promote Bikeweek but does not allow funding for insurances.
Local authorities refund expenses paid out by campaign groups – usually late and with no interest for late payment although there is an legal requirement for them to do so. They give nothing for time and effort by volunteers. Local authorities do not pay insurance. Yet some (eg Sligo County Council) require groups to have public liability cover.
Maynooth Cycling Campaign spends most of money on promotion – pullup banners in supermarkets, primary schools (events in secondary schools cannot be funded as they are closed during June), talking to school authorities, buying cycle related purchases and delivering to schools. We get a refund (eventually) but the reason we started it was to increase our overall Bikeweek expenditure so that when we looked for reimbursement, we sought a further 20% for profit/overheads. For example expenditure of €1200 would give us an income of €200 – enough for membership of Cyclist.ie plus a bit more.
When I worked as a Cycling Officer, I organised a talk on bike maintenance in primary schools by a bike shop owner. He were paid for this. If cycle campaigners give the talk, we should be able to charge for this but it is unclear whether Kildare will pay us or not. (To be resolved before next year when SPC/Cycle Forum meets.)
Dublin Cycling Campaign has received funding for the organising of Bikeweek events directly from the DTT&S. Most of the funding is for the organising ie for voluntary labour in organising event. In most cases, the external costs ie receptible costs are minor.
The drawback of funding from Bikeweek is that the return is low c€200-300 for what can be quite a bit of work and there is no guarantee that Bikeweek will continue in the future.
2. St. Patrick’s Day Parade
Dublin Cycling Campaign also receives funding for participating in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade from the HSE. For Maynooth Cycling to take part in its parade, we would have to pay €25. We haven’t applied for any funding.
3. Funding from Local Property Tax/Individual Councillor
Campaign groups would have to lobby for this every year and if an individual councillor fails to get elected, the source of funding would cease. The recipients of funding from local property taxes is generally decided in September/early October. While this is a practical source of funding, it does not give long term security
4. Local Authority Grants
There are three types of local authority grants:
- Arts/Festival Grants – Bike festival organisers can avail of this category of grant.
- Leader Funding – leader funding is for larger amounts but is geared towards projects rather than ongoing organisation costs so it is not an option for cycling campaign groups for everyday expenses.
- Community Grants – these cover resident associations, tidy towns, community groups and such like. They pay upfront and seek documentation afterwards. Our resident association, one of several in the town, receives €600 as a contribution towards the cost of paying for grass cutting etc. It is assumed that the amount is based on the number of houses.
Invitations to apply for grants usually goes out in January with a closing date of mid-March.
Elegibility for Community Grants
- In order to be eligible under this scheme your group must be formally established and must be able to produce Articles of Association or Minutes of AGM/Meetings.
- The group must engage in activities which encourage community participation, volunteerism and promote the well-being of communities and all funded activities must be located within the County.
Requirements for Community Grants
- A copy of the group’s Bank or Credit Union Statement.
- All copies of receipts for spending from previous grants awarded must have been submitted to Community and Culture Department.
Activities which are not eligible for Community Grants
- Projects which are clearly the remit of another agency.
- Ongoing running costs e.g. administration.
The last is the big problem for cycling campaign groups as our needs are for ongoing running costs. If this is to change this, we will need to lobby councillors.
5. Bike Counts/Secondary School Talks
In the past, I have used annual bike counts in primary and secondary schools as an indicator for changes in annual modal split. Assuming that councils are interested in annual reports on cycling (a big assumption), this information needs to be collected. As county councils may argue that they do not have the staff to carry out such counts, local campaign groups may be able to do so, depending on whether they have people available. If council do not have the staff, they can either pay cycling campaign groups or tender the work for which campaign groups could tender.
There is no obvious cask cow out there waiting to be milked. The best chance of securing long term funding is to lobby local politicians to make cycle campaign groups an special case in the payment of ongoing running costs. If we were to secure say €600 – an average residents association in Maynooth, it would cover membership of Cyclist.ie, insurances and still leave a small discretionary amount for printing, conferences and such like.
At present, Maynooth Cycling Campaign does not have its own bank account or Treasurer – any funding received is through the Cyclist.ie account, in other words the Dublin Cycling Campaign account. The cost of a cycle campaign group having its own bank account is about €35 per annum. This does not include the employment of an auditor which would only be required in the case of larger groups which may need certified accounts as part of an application for grants.
The final conclusion is that most groups should have a written constitution or articles of association which will assist in securing funding.