Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 11°C

min temp: 9°C

Search

Bury St Edmunds: Local grants scheme set for the go-ahead

16:32 21 March 2014

Robert Everitt

Robert Everitt

Archant

The trial of a system of grants designed to empower communities looks likely to be extended in west Suffolk.

Under the St Edmundsbury Borough Council scheme, ward councillors will be handed a £2,500 budget to be spent on causes and projects in their area.

Council leaders have said the initiative signals the start of a new relationship with the communities they serve and will be a vital tool to help people improve their quality of life.

The 12-month trial follows the success of an identical system in Forest Heath which allocated more than £81,500 in its first 18 months and supported 183 community projects, including the creation of a children’s playground and a course for healthy eating.

The council’s cabinet are recommended to give the final go-ahead to the trial of the scheme – called the Councillor Locality Budget Scheme – at their meeting on March 25.

Robert Everitt, portfolio-holder for community at St Edmundsbury, said: “I do think it will empower communities. Listening to the stories coming out of Forest Heath, for small sums of money you can seed-corn ideas that the community have identified as important to them. Spending a few pounds helps them set up and organise themselves into an action committee or helps some worthy cause get off the ground. It’s about helping the organisations on your ward when they need it.”

Mr Everitt, who said projects started by the community for the community were more likely to endure, added: “Councils have to look to change the way they engage with residents and communities within St Edmundsbury.

“There are stories coming out about residents wanting to change the way things are and once they are on board and driving it, then all we [councillors] have to do is signpost them to places where they can achieve what they want.”

The scheme, which replicates the locality budgets of county councillors, would allow payments of at least £100 to community groups. In Forest Heath the average allocation has been £445.

The locality budget could also prove important for the region’s outlying villages and hamlets, with 19 rural wards seeing a direct investment of £47,500 if the trial is approved.

0 comments

A speeding driver who failed to take a breath test after being pursued by police has been disqualified from driving for 24 months.

A 50-year-old man from east London who was arrested in connection with a fatal road crash in Hitcham last week has been bailed.

Youngsters and teenagers in Suffolk are preparing themselves for the bracing conditions of this year’s Christmas Day Dip for the first time.

Hopes of building a major new rail link from East Anglia to Bristol, creating an “Arc of Prosperity” around London have received a major boost.

The award for a Suffolk town’s ‘best dressed Christmas window’ made a short journey across the street after changing hands for the first time in two years.

Suffolk County Council is increasingly taking on a new role as a landlord for other organisations as services are transferred to outside bodies, councillors will be told later this week.

Suffolk’s health service bosses are set to move into the county council headquarters at Endeavour House – a decade after there was an outcry over their move to Rushbrook House in the Suffolk countryside.

Suffolk beach hut owners have been given the chance to have their say on controversial proposals to impose “extortionate” increases to rents and charges.

There were no dancing cups and saucers, singing clocks or candelabra hosts but who needs the Disney sparkle when you have the true magic of panto?

Most read

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

MyDate24 MyPhotos24