THE GOVERNMENT has pledged a welcome cash injection for a number of community projects across the borough. The opportunities were outlined at last nights (Wednesday) cabinet meeting.
1. Community Grants
The Thurrock Council for Voluntary Service is administering a Community Grants scheme on behalf of Thurrock Council.
£81,000 is available to local voluntary, community and faith organisations working in support of Thurrock’s priority to ‘Build pride, respect and responsibility in Thurrock’s communities and its residents’.
The fund was launched in November 2011 and applications can be made up to the end of January 2012.
Application forms are available via the Thurrock CVS website.
Local organisations can also apply up to £5000. Applicants must be members of CVS – this is to encourage capacity building within the voluntary, community and faith sector.
Organisations must have been active since December 2009 (newer groups can apply through another organisation as a sponsor).
2. Community First
This is an £80 million government initiative which targets those wards in England considered to be subject to significant deprivation and low social capital.
Eligible wards where data showed an 10% increase in benefit claimants was noted between May 2009 – 2010.
Four wards in Thurrock are considered to be eligible for this programme. They are Chadwell St Mary; Tilbury St Chads; Tilbury Riverside and Thurrock Park and West Thurrock and South Stifford.
There are two elements to Community First; the Community First Neighbourhood Grant Programme (up to 2015) and the Endowment Match Challenge (beyond 2015).
The £30 million Community First Neighbourhood Grant Programme will make £33,910 available to each ward for local improvements over the life of the programme. In order to access this funding local areas must establish a Community First Panel, and the Panel must identify match funding.
A Community First Panel should comprise between 4 – 8 local residents who will need to register their interest on-line with the Community Development Foundation to be recognised. The Panel will then need to work with local residents and partners to produce a Community First Plan and recommend projects/activities to be funded in their ward.
3.Devolved Councillor Budgets
Seven Councillors in three wards have access to £2000 each, to pilot a devolved budget scheme. These wards are: Stanford East and Corringham Town, Tilbury St Chads and Chafford South.
Devolved Councillor Budgets were agreed by Cabinet in June as a pilot project to support elected councillors to be effective community champions.
One application has been approved – £1000 each from both Councillors in Tilbury St Chads will be used to support bulb planting at the Daisy Field, Tilbury.