Two civil servants who were seconded to Kids Company for just over a year made 82 failed funding applications to local authorities, and no successful ones, according to written evidence to a Parliamentary committee.
In evidence submitted to the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee, Alan Yentob, the former chair of the defunct charity, said that two civil servants were seconded to Kids Company in 2011 “with the brief to transition Kids Company into local authority funding streams. Over a 13-month period, 82 applications for funding were made, and all failed”.
Written evidence from the Cabinet Office outlining its engagement with the charity also reveals that Kids Company had had applications to other Cabinet Office funding pots turned down.
Kids Company applied for funding from the Social Action Fund in 2012 and its Bristol wing applied to the Youth Engagement Fund in 2014.
Until July 2013 the Department for Education co-ordinated the grant agreement for Kids Company. In November the then minister for civil society, Nick Hurd, asked for an overview of how local authorities engaged with Kids Company.
“Following a visit to Kids Compnay in October 2013, he wanted to understand how far Kids Compnay interacted and was integrated with other local organisations and youth services particularly in light of Kids Company’s claims that they supported young people who should be accessing ‘statutory services’,” the Cabinet Office evidence said.
It added that: “The minister was also keen to ensure there was no risk of ‘double funding’.”
Slow to restructure
According to the Cabinet Office written evidence Kids Company was offered a grant of £4.265m for 2015/16 by Oliver Letwin in December 2015, which was paid in April 2015.
“It started to become clear that whilst the trustees were committed to substantial changes in their business model - they had said this to Oliver Letwin and indeed had signed up to such in the grant agreement - the change so far implemented by the organisation was more limited. To mitigate the risk of Kids Company not meeting the requirements in the grant agreement officials spent time supporting Kids Company and helping them to meet their conditions”, the Cabinet Office evidence said.
The Cabinet Office said that a progress report from Kids Company dated May 2015 “showed only limited progress”.
At the same time they said Yentob wrote to the Department for Work and Pensions requesting additional funding and that Oliver Letwin said the request would be declined.
Kids Company submitted a more detailed restructuring plan in June at the same time as the request for an additional £3m funding.
The Cabinet Office also revealed that it has paid £200,000 to local authorities in Lambeth, Southwark, Bristol and Camden to cover the costs of moving Kids Company’s clients to other services.
- The Public Affairs Committee will hold an inquiry into Kids Company on Monday, according to information released on Twitter. More information will be given as soon as it becomes available.