Councillor community grants increase to help local communities
A report on the impact of grants available to ward councillors to spend on projects that benefit their local communities and increased funding for the next two years is going to cabinet on 23 September.
Since the councillor grant fund was introduced 10 years ago, Telford & Wrekin Council has invested £918,000 to councillors to fund local community projects, with more than 1,160 community projects benefiting from the Councillors’ Pride Fund since 2015.
Recent projects have included Laptops for Learning, breakfasts for children and young people, wellbeing packs for residents who were on their own at Christmas, play area improvements, community benches, trees to enhance the environment and reduce the impact of climate change, and practical measures to help community centres become Covid-secure so they can reopen their doors.
Councillor Paul Watling, cabinet member for cooperative communities, engagement and partnerships, said: “The Councillors’ Pride Fund has helped our communities better support each other in the places where they live. During the last 18 months, this has been more important than ever and is why we have raised each councillor’s fund to £5,000.
“Feedback from ward councillors highlights how even small amounts of money can have a significant and long-lasting impact on communities and people’s wellbeing. Breakfasts for young people, Laptops for Learning and wellbeing packs for people on their own at Christmas are things that really do make a big difference, and why the increased funding is such great news.”
For 2021/22 and 2022/23, all 54 ward councillors will each have £5,000 to allocate to community projects in their ward, which is an extra £3,000 to support communities in their Covid-19 recovery.
Council leader Councillor Shaun Davies said: “The pandemic has impacted on communities in so many ways, with people experiencing difficulties and feelings of isolation. Our local green spaces have also been the destination of choice for many of us, reminding us why they are so important.
“This fund helps make projects that support communities and improve local environments happen. It offers funds that can be difficult to achieve from other grant giving organisations, with flexibility to support even the smallest of community groups. It makes all things possible.
“As long as the projects benefit the local community, how the money is allocated is at the discretion of the ward councillor.”
Telford & Wrekin Council’s cabinet is recommended to note the continued impact of the Councillors’ Pride Fund and increased funding over the next two years when it meets on 23 September.
Ward councillors have until 31 January 2022 to allocate their £5,000 community funding for 2021/22.
A full list of projects benefiting from the funding in 2020/21 can be found here.
Anyone who has a community project that they would like to put forward for consideration is asked to contact their local councillor. Find your ward councillor here.
This and other reports going to Cabinet on 23 September 2021 are available here.