In an article published in our Summer Newsletter 2017, the following statements were made about Bristol City Council’s Draft Commissioning Plan for Voice and Influence:
‘Although this is positive it won’t, unfortunately, guarantee we will be considered for the funding. This is because the Council’s rules on who can qualify to apply for Council contracts discriminates against small organisations like ours. To apply for a contract of this size, the bidder would need to have a history of having a yearly income of between £280,000 – £560,000! The Council knew, but possibly forgot, this would exclude almost all equalities-led organisations when it agreed the policy.’
However, since publishing this article, it has been brought to our attention that this paragraph contains information that does not apply to this contract. However, we had not been told that the Council would not be using their standard criteria on finance for this contract.
Bristol City Council’s Equality and Community Cohesion team have advised us that:
‘The council is encouraging small organisations to collaborate to put in a bid and will exercise its discretion on financial risk to ensure we support small organisations and a vibrant voluntary sector. ‘
The Forum agree that statements made in our article were not correct for this particular contract, and would like to take this opportunity to apologise to Bristol City Council, to the officers of the Equality and Community Cohesion team, and our members for these inaccuracies.
The Forum welcome the opportunity to work with the Council, and acknowledge they will use their discretion to ensure that the commissioning process is open to a wide range of organisations including small equalities-led organisations.