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Sudbury: £14,000 pilot funding trial to aid community

10:52 31 March 2014

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Ideas are being sought for a project in the Sudbury area that could benefit from a one-off cash boost of £14,000.

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The participatory budget scheme, where county councillors could get extra cash to boost their annual locality budget for community projects, is being trialled in four different parts of Suffolk.

Sudbury councillor John Sayers is one of the first members in an urban area to trial the pilot scheme, which is being run by the council’s policy development panel.

Last April, the county’s cabinet voted to abandon the system where councillors’ resources varied depending on the size of the population they represented. Instead they introduced a fixed rate locality budget of £12,000 and an £8,000 highways budget, which replaced the former “quality of life” budget.

A county council spokesman said: “The new pilot scheme we are trialling in four areas looks at supporting councillors to get the most out of their locality budget and engage with the local community when identifying areas where this money can be spent.”

In the past year, Mr Sayers has split his locality budget between nearly 20 different organisations across Sudbury.

He said: “Under the trial scheme, I can allocate £6,000 from my budget, fellow county councillor Colin Spence will give £3,000 and the county will contribute another £5,000 to a single project that will be of benefit to Sudbury.

“But it has to be a one-off payment with no revenue funding.

“I am aiming to meet with the various organisations in the town to see what they feel is needed most.”

Ideas so far include purchasing a piece of land for extra allotment space or a bandstand for Belle Vue Park. Another suggestion is to create a facility at the recycling centre where furniture could be sold for charity.

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