Community grants to be cut by a quarter

CASH given to councillors for community and youth projects will to be cut by 25 per cent next year.

Northamptonshire County Council’s (NCC) empowerment fund has proved hugely popular over the past couple of years with many community groups in the Daventry district receiving thousands of pounds in grants.

At the moment each councillor receives £10,000 per year to allocate in their ward, but next year that figure will be cut to £7,500.

Among those organisations to have benefited over the past year are DACT (Daventry Area Community Transport), Time2Talk and the Phoenix Centre.

And on Monday this week Cllr Chris Long, who represents Daventry West at NCC, issued a further £2,500 to Advice Daventry, which is facing the threat of closure due to Government funding cuts.

He also handed £2,000 of his fund to Children Come First (Daventry), a charity which supplies venues for families to spend time together learning or re-learning how to interact with each other.

Cllr Long said: “The good thing about this fund is that all the county councillors get money to spend in their part of the county, so it’s spread out and Daventry gets a lot of benefits.

“For example the money I was able to give to Children Come First basically means it will be able to keep running for another year.

“But unfortunately when there are cuts everybody has to feel the pain and that’s the case with this too.”

So far this year more than £600,000 has been spent by the authority’s 73 councillors on 473 community projects.

But with just over two months until the end of the financial year £397,000 still remains to be spent.

Cllr Alan Hills, who represents the Daventry East ward, said: “With the amount of money that we (NCC) have got to save I think everything will be affected unfortunately.

“From my point of view the scheme has been an extremely good thing and enabled us to do a lot of good work at grass roots level.

“It’s a shame the funds will be cut, but at least we’ve still got some money to do some work, that’s the way we have to look at it.

“We just have to make sure we use the money usefully and pick worthwhile projects.”