Councillors in Telford can give more to help communities in Covid recovery after grant rise approved

Every borough councillor in Telford and Wrekin will now have £5,000 a year to allocate to community projects in their areas after cabinet chiefs approved a funding rise.

An additional £3,000 a year is now being made available per ward member for the next two years, and it is hoped the cash will help communities in the recovery from the impact of Covid.

The Councillors’ Pride Fund allows each ward member at Telford & Wrekin Council to allocate funding to projects that will make a difference in their local areas.

The increase was approved at a council cabinet meeting on Thursday.

Since the councillor grant fund was introduced 10 years ago, Telford & Wrekin Council has invested £918,000 to councillors to fund local community projects, with more than 1,160 community projects benefitting from the Councillors’ Pride Fund since 2015.

Recent projects have included laptops for learning, breakfasts for children and young people, wellbeing packs for residents who were on their own at Christmas and play area improvements.

Councillor Paul Watling, Telford & Wrekin Council's cabinet member for cooperative communities, engagement and partnerships, said: “The Councillors’ Pride Fund has helped our communities better support each other in the places where they live.

"During the last 18 months, this has been more important than ever and is why we have raised each councillor’s fund to £5,000.

“Feedback from ward councillors highlights how even small amounts of money can have a significant and long-lasting impact on communities and people’s wellbeing. Breakfasts for young people, laptops for learning and wellbeing packs for people on their own at Christmas are things that really do make a big difference, and why the increased funding is such great news.”

For 2021/22 and 2022/23, all 54 ward councillors will each have £5,000 per year to allocate to community projects in their ward.

Council leader Councillor Shaun Davies said: “The pandemic has impacted on communities in so many ways, with people experiencing difficulties and feelings of isolation. Our local green spaces have also been the destination of choice for many of us, reminding us why they are so important.

“This fund helps make projects that support communities and improve local environments happen.

"It offers funds that can be difficult to achieve from other grant giving organisations, with flexibility to support even the smallest of community groups. It makes all things possible.

“As long as the projects benefit the local community, how the money is allocated is at the discretion of the ward councillor.”

Ward councillors have until January 31 next year to allocate their £5,000 community funding for 2021/22.

Anyone who has a community project that they would like to put forward for consideration is asked to contact their local councillor.

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