The amount of funding given to councillors to spend on their local areas has doubled, giving communities more money to spend on what matters to them.
Two years ago, power was handed to residents across Croydon when community ward budgets were introduced. The initiative, which is led by ward members but with the involvement of local residents and business owners, gives each councillor in the borough his or her own budget to spend on local projects.
At yesterday’s full council meeting it was announced £576,000 has been assigned to the scheme, which will see an annual community ward budget of £24,000.
Councillors worked closely with local residents and business owners, to identify key issues, needs and priorities in their area and a number of different projects are being delivered. Residents have been at the heart of decisions on how the money was spent.
For example in Fieldway, some of the things it was used for in the first year were a Christmas lights competition, the New Addington People’s Carnival, equipment for Addington Conservation Trust, tickets for local scouts, a youth club cooking project, a healthy meal for elderly residents and the New Addington Autism Group.
In Croham, the community ward budget funded the printing of a bi-annual newsletter, the South End Christmas lights, photographic equipment and ipads for a local school, the local scout group’s centenary celebration and lighting to the scout hut and work in a community garden.
Councillor Simon Hall, cabinet member for finance and treasury
“The council is committed to local devolution in Croydon and the extra funding, found even with the spending pressures the council is under, will enable the community to continue to be at the heart of the decision making in their areas.
“There are different needs and issues within each community and last year the initiative funded a range of projects that were important to each local area. It is fantastic councillors will be able to deliver even more on what matters most to residents.”