Thursday, June 20, 2024
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Thurrock Council set up £250,000 community fund

A £¼ million Community Environmental Development Fund is to be set up in Thurrock if the full council agrees.

The council’s cabinet backed the idea at their meeting on Wednesday (11 November), but it will have to be approved when all 49 members of the council meet for the budget-setting decision in February.

Cllr Jane Pothecary, portfolio holder for Communities and Public Protection, said: “In many parts of Thurrock residents are incredibly proud of the area where they live and we councillors are often approached with exciting and innovative ideas aimed at improving those areas and answering a local need.

“The idea behind creating this fund, is to provide a way the council can support this process with a transparent system looking at capital requests.”

She explained: “It proposes a new fund for communities to apply to and seek funding for infrastructure and environmental improvements such as better road layouts, verge reinforcements and other street scene improvements.

“I think we should embrace any approach that helps communities take greater ownership and responsibility for where they live, especially when resident contributions and match-funding from trusts or volunteer time can help meet the total cost.

“The fund – if approved tonight and in February – will help communities get involved with designing and agreeing which improvement would have the most beneficial impact on their neighbourhood.

“This is an innovative approach that I think will appeal to many community groups and residents, and I am really looking forward to seeing how this works so we can possibly consider something similar in other areas in the future.”

The proposal is to make capital funding available to community groups to deliver defined projects which provide significant added value to the local community.

Bids will be ratified and monitored by a cross-party panel of members in line with agreed criteria and full details of successful bids will be published on the council’s website.

The proposed value of the fund for 2016/17 would be £250,000, subject to confirmation by full council in February.

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