As with many voluntary organisations, the Forum has existed with less money than it needed to undertake its work. It has survived:
- On a grant from here and there for a year or two, which has then run out and had to be replaced from something else.
- By paying its staff less than the going rate and by often having to issue redundancy notices because at the start of a month we did not know whether we could pay them at the end of the month.
- By good office finance management and budgeting
However, things are beginning to change. Key Statutory partners are investing in the future of the Forum. They are prepared to pay (a) for its capacity building work and (b) for some of the services it renders. A door which had been locked is open and we are gradually moving from a ‘grants and charitable works’ culture to a new, more workman-like one in which partners bend their existing budgets to pay for Civil Renewal work. That’s a real break through which will need to be replicated in other neighbourhoods.
For example, the Neighbourhood Wardens cost £110k which first came as a grant from the Home Office. It ended and NSP partners took up much of it from their own local budgets and entered into a series of Service Level Agreements. Before too long all the Forum’s funding will come in this way.
The Forum’s Income and Expenditure Budget for the last year is printed below:-
|Balsall Heath Forum – Estimated Annual budget
|Regular monthly income
|Coordination & Management
|£12,286.00 HLC Finance & Admin
|£48,000.00 Housing Justice
|£21,975.40 Home Office
|Core running costs- office etc
|Safety/Warden & CCTV
|£20,000.00 NRF Partners
|Safety Team r/costs
|£20,000.00 West Midlands Fire-Fire safety advocate
|£37,810.68 Home Office
|(spend will specifically relate to Income received from bids)
|Residents Groups & Street Stewards
|£8,161.24 Home Office
|r/costs + vol exps
|£25,000.00 Housing Justice
|Women & Training/Participation
|£40,000.00 Housing Justice
|(spend will specifically relate to Income received from Housing Justice)
|£37,052.68 Home Office
|Green Team r/costs
Total Income Needed to meet expenditure = £558,118.08
Total Income secured/anticipated = £361,641.12
Difference = £196,476.96