Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 13°C

min temp: 12°C

Search

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

PUBLISHED: 16:32 21 March 2014 | UPDATED: 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.

A person who was struck by a train in Haughley tonight has died, British Transport Police have confirmed.

The first graduates of the University of Suffolk since it secured independence status last year gathered in Ipswich today to celebrate years of hard work.

The Great British Bake Off contestants grappled with “forgotten” British bakes in tonight’s quarter-final.

Paramedics and police treated three people for minor injuries after a crash in a mid Suffolk village this evening.

The world of football has united in mourning following the death of the son of Ipswich Town legend and former England captain Terry Butcher.

Passengers using Greater Anglia trains are facing delays of up to 50 minutes this evening.

A third of teenagers and young adults at a Suffolk health and wellbeing cause have anxiety issues, a new report has revealed - as demand for counselling continues to increase.

Most read

Eating Out in the Broads

cover

Click here to view
the Eating Out
supplement

View

Visit the Broads

cover

Click here to view
the Visit the Broads
supplement

View

Show Job Lists

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter
MyDate24 MyPhotos24