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Voluntary and Community Sector Groups and Organisations Policy

Applications can be made by voluntary and community sector groups and organisations from within Stevenage to have a rent free garage.

The group must demonstrate their work is associated with the Town and is limited to one garage per group or organisation. The group will need to provide proof to the Council that they are a legitimate organisation and are eligible for a rent free garage. The group may be required to provide the Council with proof that they have constitution for the organisation, with dates of meetings, minutes of meetings or charity number if they are a registered charity.

Groups and organisations currently occupying a Council garage rent free will not be able to apply for additional rent free garages.

A garage will be offered one when one becomes available in a low demand area. If no garage is available the group will be placed onto a waiting list and contacted once a garage is available.

All groups occupying a rent free garage will be liable to pay a weekly administration charge for 52 weeks and will be reviewed annually.

Invoices will be issued at the start of each financial year and will be expected to be paid, in full, by the 31 March of the following year.

The Council can accept direct debt payments on a monthly or quarterly basis.

All groups should ensure that the Garage section is notified of any changes relating to the person responsible for all communication relating the garage and the key holder to ensure our records are kept up to date.

The number of garages available to qualifying voluntary and community sector groups and organisations requiring a VCO garage is capped at 75.

Annual inspections, of 10% of Voluntary Group garages will be carried out to make sure the garage is being used as per the application form and to check on the condition of the garage.

The Council reserves the right to terminate the tenancy if the administration charge is not paid or if any evidence comes to light that the garage is not being used as per the application form.

The group shall give one weeks’ notice in writing to via the online termination form once the garage is no longer required. The garage must be clear of all items when garage keys are returned back to Stevenage Borough Council and any items left inside will be subject to clearance charge.

If the garage keys are lost during the tenancy or there are no keys to return upon termination of the licence the group will be subject to a gain entry and lock change.