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Emergency reserves being used to pay lottery grants

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GRANTS to local charities are being funded from emergency reserves this year because the States are still in the process of reorganising how Channel Islands Lottery profits should be distributed.

In an email to its members, the Association of Jersey Charities, which represents the majority of charitable organisations in the Island, has said that it now has to fall back on emergency cash that has traditionally been kept in case of unexpected cuts to funding.

‘Our policy has always been to hold sufficient reserves to maintain a grant-giving programme if our income was unexpectedly cut,’ AJC chairwoman Liz Le Poidevin said. ‘That is exactly the situation we face today.

‘All of those members who have already applied for funding against the criteria, and for the amounts which we advertised were available at the time they applied, will be considered as usual at our Grant Committee meeting on 25 June.

‘However, as we will not have received any of the 2018 Lottery profits by that time, the entirety of the approved grants will be funded from our cash reserves.’

A decision was made towards the end of last year by States officials to tender for the job of distributing CI Lottery money – a role that has traditionally been performed by the AJC – as part of a ‘long-stated aim to spread the benefits of Lottery funding across a wider section of the Jersey community’, a States press office spokeswoman said.

By tendering for a distributor, the States have said that it will be able to ensure fair, efficient and effective distribution of Lottery funds.

This could mean that some sports and culture organisations, which are not charities and have not thus far been within the remit of the AJC, could be among future recipients of lottery money.

‘For many years, the Lottery funds have been distributed annually by the Association of Jersey Charities,’ the States spokeswoman added. ‘Each year’s distribution is governed by a published service level agreement which stipulates that future funding is not guaranteed.

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‘The AJC have given their support to a procurement exercise regarding the allocation of future proceeds, subject to the approval of the States Assembly.’

Ms Le Poidevin, who confirmed that the AJC have put themselves forward in the tender process, said that while they are ‘totally behind the project’, they have also had to ask the States for ‘an interim payment’ to supplement the grants from cash reserves this year and ‘tide over future needs’.

However, Ms Le Poidevin went on to say that, even if the AJC were to be chosen, there may still be a change in the amount of money available to the association.

‘Your committee is in the process of completing a tender application, but even if we are successful, the way future funds are distributed and the amounts that might be available to the association may change,’ she told AJC members this week.

‘We are working with parties from other parts of the sector to ensure a joined-up service with continuity,’ she added.

Sam Le

By Sam Le
Journalist

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