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Grants give boost to local Parish Councils

Local villages are set to benefit from our Concurrent Functions Grant Aid Scheme, which provides financial assistance to parish councils to support projects to improve the lives of local residents.

The Executive team approved the budget of £80,814 at last night's Executive meeting for 2021-22 at this time because the parish councils need to be aware of the level of grant aid available to them so that they can build the sums into their budget calculations for the coming year.

Concurrent functions are services which are provided by county, borough and parish councils and include allotments, commons, open spaces, playing fields, burial grounds and cemeteries, closed churchyards, parking, litter bins, seats, bus shelters, War memorials, public clocks, Village Halls and Community Centres, Entertainment and Arts Support, public toilets, and leisure facilities. We support parish councils running some of these services by providing them with this grant. These services also cover environmental improvement and traffic calming projects which are undertaken by parishes including the provision of CCTV, street lighting and the purchase of IT equipment to assist with parish administrative tasks.

Lead Councillor for Finance, Commercial Asset Management and Procurement Tim Anderson, explains: "We invited all parish councils to bid for the concurrent functions grant aid, where they were asked to complete a detailed application form, a written estimate for each project and to identify how the project meets at least one of the five fundamental themes within our corporate plan. This is to help support our key vision, which is for our town and borough to be the most desirable place to live and work while supporting our residents and businesses. So far, we have received 39 requests from 17 of the 23 active parish councils."

The minimum grant a Parish Council can request is £200. Parishes receive a maximum of 50% in grant aid towards any projects; the percentage is lower for any schemes over £10,000. Each Parish varies in size and each has differing priorities. Once they have received the grant, they have two years to complete the works. 

Parishes Representative Cllr Julia Osborn says "These grants make a big difference to our parishes by not only improving the lives of our local residents but also in creating an improved environment for the parish."

Published Wednesday 25 November