Devolved budget for ward members

AS PART of its commitment to devolving power and spending, Thurrock Council’s cabinet has agreed that each councillor will have £2,000 to spend in their own ward.

The cabinet — meeting on Friday (18 February) — supported a £98,000 growth item for “Ward Budgets (community engagement)” which equals £2,000 for each of the 49 members.

Cllr Lynn Worrall, cabinet member for Community, Culture and Leisure, said: “A cross party overview and scrutiny task and finish group has been looking into this issue of getting the council, including councillors, more involved with their communities.”

“Although £2,000 doesn’t sound a lot, it adds up to the best part of £100,000 to be spend on small projects in Thurrock; projects that will benefit local people.

“Every ward has at two or three members, so it could be possible that between £4,000 and £6,000 could be spent, but I’m sure councillors will discuss proposals with residents before committing the money — that’s the whole point.”

She added: “Discussions with local forums, on the doorstep, in the street and in member surgeries should develop plenty of ideas. Not every one can be a winner, but there are 20 wards, so we would expect to see at least 20 winners.”

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