What are the risks associated with this approach?

At the beginning of the project planning when ideas were being developed, more consideration could have been given to the risks associated with the each of the projects.  Once the projects began to evolve, there was  a better  understanding of the importance of risk management processes.  The standard issues such as health and safety, first aid and minimum staffing levels began to be raised and addressed.  In addition specific projects had additional checks that were needed.  For example  the BBQ bike needed to be issued with a food safety certification and site visit and public liability insurance was required for the manager of poly tunnel which was placed on Lambeth Living land. The latter example raises real questions about assumed liability between parties should any issues have arisen (e.g. Lambeth Living, Lambeth Council or High Trees Community Trust who were awarded the funding to deliver the project).

There are also accountability issues and the need for transparency in respect of payment processes, especially as the protocol for was for the council to manage at arms length.   It was more expedient for High Trees to assume responsibility of the budgets for the majority of the projects for a small administration fee.   As a consequence this made High Trees Community Trust responsible for ensuring  that  project budgets were spent with probity and the planned outcomes delivered rather than the individual project manager.  Some of the projects have been delivered by project leads who are working alone, without the support of constituted groups or organisations.  It is important for future projects to consider well in advance the range of processes which need to be put in place to manage risk.


3 Responses to What are the risks associated with this approach?

  1. lizbryanblog says:

    Jeremy said ” Some councils have introduced ‘no strings’ grants of up to £5k for community groups where there is no specific delivery evidence required. Is this something for the council to investigate further? We need to balance the financial cost of probity assurance processes with the value of the grant”

  2. lizbryanblog says:

    Fiona said: ” It was hard to get to grips with council culture. However, the support team at the council helped me to find a way through systems, to understand the position on liability, insurance, risk and ownership. The council’s systems for paying people for their time are not geared up to payments for individuals, unless I was to set up as a supplier (with potential liability of up to £10m insurance required) or to be paid as an employee (not a viable solution for the council if they are trying to scale up working with the community)”.

  3. lizbryanblog says:

    Sue said: “Accountability should be included in project planning processes. What is the process for making decisions when groups who do not have a formal constitution are commissioned to deliver projects? In the example of the poly tunnel, the project team could have acted as a reference group to ratify decisions on spend and guide the direction of the project. “

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