Funding delay hits Sheffield tenants’ group

Coun Jim Steinke, Cabinet member for neighbourhoods and community safety
Coun Jim Steinke, Cabinet member for neighbourhoods and community safety

A Sheffield tenants group has criticised the council after it was told to wait months for a decision on a grant.

Hanover Tenants and Residents Association applied for a small grant from Sheffield Council but was told it would have to wait three months for a decision – even though the funding had a deadline to be spent.

Andrew Woodhead, on behalf of Hanover TARA, told a Cabinet meeting: “Last September we applied for money from the ward pot. We have used it in the past and it’s been very good but this year there was an administrative blip.

“In October we received an email saying the application would be processed within 12 weeks but the money needs to be spent by March 31 so this is a little bit awkward.

“We spoke to another community group which said they put in an application in August and they had still heard nothing.

“It’s really not good enough as this scheme is not suitable for community groups. It’s difficult to plan a month ahead nevermind many months ahead. We really need to look at the system as it’s not working.”

Coun Jim Steinke, cabinet member for neighbourhoods, said the council would tackle the problem.

“It’s not good and we need to address this. There’s been pressure on officers as some are on sick leave and a disruption of work has occurred over the last few months.

“We need to find a way for the system to accommodate this. It’s crucial we get this in place for further sources of funding and we need to make sure we have the process right.”