Grants to increase by £324,000 over next two years to help Telford communities in Covid recovery

Councillors in Telford and Wrekin will each be able to allocate an extra £3,000 a year to community projects in their areas to help them recover from the impact of Covid, a new report says.

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.

A new report to the council's cabinet says an additional £3,000 a year is now to be made available per ward member for the next two years.

It means all 54 councillors will each have £5,000 to allocate in their ward per year.

The additional funding is being made available from the Covid-19 Recovery Reserve and will see a total investment of £540,000.

The report says over the past decade, the council has invested £918,000 into funds for councillors to improve their wards.

Since 2015, more than 1,160 community projects have been delivered, supporting a diverse range of activities.

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.

It has also provided community benches, trees to enhance the environment and reduce the impact of climate change, and practical measures to help community centres become Covid-secure so they can reopen their doors.

Cabinet chiefs will be asked to note the report during a meeting next Thursday.

Councillor Paul Watling, 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.”

Council leader Councillor Shaun Davies added: “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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