Today (10 May) the community ward budget scheme is relaunching with each of Croydon’s 70 councillors being able to spend up to £2,000 on local projects, needs or priorities in their area.
Community ward budgets were introduced six years ago and enable local residents and organisations to bid for funding from their local councillors to support the schemes and projects that matter most to them.
Community groups within the councillors’ locality can apply directly to their elected representatives for the funding and councillors can allocate the money collectively or separately and have until the end of January 2022 to allocate all their funds.
Recent successful initiatives supported by the budgets include: funding for Guiding Hands to provide free food parcels for those affected by coronavirus; money awarded to Purley Oaks Primary School to set up a tablet and wifi dongle loan scheme for children who do not have the technology or broadband at home to access online learning during lockdown; and funding for a dance project for people with Parkinson’s disease and their carers.
In the past the budgets have also supported a wide range of smaller projects including family fun days out, the setting up of a website to collect residents’ thoughts on their priorities for the Crystal Palace/Upper Norwood area, and the installation cost of a community noticeboard.
“The community ward budgets really do empower Croydon residents and they can make a big difference in communities across the borough. We have found they are a superb way of giving the community a voice in saying how council funding is spent in their area.
“So if you believe your group or organisation makes a difference and is eligible for the funding then I urge you to get in touch and see how we can help you.”
Councillor Manju Shahul-Hameed, cabinet member for communities, safety and business recovery
To find out more about community ward budgets and how to apply for a share of the funding visit: https://www.croydon.gov.uk/community-and-safety/advice-and-funding-community-groups/community-ward-budgets/about-ward-budgets