Our Safer, Stronger Communities Fund has had a bad rep at work. People, including me, have questioned why our Authority would "give away" £2m to other organisations at a time when we're making frontline cuts and letting support staff go.
I've got a new perspective on this after listening to a seminar given by Bruce Katz in Sheffield last week. Katz is a former advisor to President Obama who is an expert on urban development.
The most interesting part of his presentation for me was learning that the spending culture of US public organisations is to fund academic research and private companies. The Americans believe that produces better value and more innovative and creative outcomes than public bodies spending the money directly.
It's worth thinking about as we prepare to embark on round two of our fund. I'm sure we can all think of small projects that make a big difference if only they had a bit of funding.
Instead of complaining maybe, as staff, we should focus on working with partners to help them develop really excellent bids to fund great projects that just need a kick start.