£11,200 to good causes from councillors’ pots

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MORE than £11,200 has been handed out to community projects in three months from funds given to councillors to help worthwhile causes in their wards.

Holbeach and Fenland Gymnastics Club, Holbeach Christmas Fayre Committee and Holbeach Victoria Training Band are just a few of the groups to have benefited so far from the Designated Councillors’ Budgets.

The budgets of £5,000 pro-rata were agreed for each councillor in June this year to allow them to respond to the needs of their constituents.

As the scheme started late into the financial year, it left £4,000 available to each councillor between July 2011 and April 2012.

Long Sutton councillor Simon Booth has used £2,150 of his budget to help gymnasts at Holbeach and Fenland Gymnastics Club (£2,000) and Cowpers Gate Residents Association (£150).

He said: “The councillor budgets have helped a number of organisations where money has otherwise been getting tied up in other areas. They are losing funding from other places and this is allowing us to help them out where we can.

“As Long Sutton ward members, we have given the Holbeach and Fenland Gymnastics Club quite a substantial amount. They are serving youngsters from quite a few wards.”

The gymnastics club has received the most funding so far at £6,500, with £2,000 from each of the Long Sutton councillors Simon Booth, Dennis Tennant and David Wilkinson, and a further £300 and £200 from Holbeach councillors Martin Howard and Rita Rudkin respectively.

Coun Rudkin has spent the most between July and September, with donations also going to Holbeach Victoria Training Band (£500), Holbeach Christmas Fayre Committee (£1,000) and Holbeach Hospital’s day care service (£800).

Projects to also receive cash from other ward members have included Holbeach Seniors’ Link, the Celebrate Surfleet initiative, Next Generation in Gedney and a new litter bin in Church Street, Spalding.

The funding is split from the council’s general funds and the housing revenue account.

l A full list of the budget expenditure can be found on the South Holland District Council website.