New guidelines for charities and community groups in Holbeach to apply for grants have been set by parish councillors.
An £8,000 cashpot will be set aside for applications from groups in Holbeach, Holbeach Bank, Holbeach Drove, Holbeach Hurn, Holbeach St Johns and Holbeach St Marks to be sent in between May and November 2018.
There’s a limit to what we can give and there should be a limit to what we can give because it’s taxpayers’ moneyCoun Terry Harrington, Holbeach Parish Council
But the tougher guidelines include a “first come, first served” basis for deciding on them, a requirement for groups to send in the last 12 months of accounts with any request over £500 and a maximum grant amount of £3,000.
The grants policy was explained at Monday’s parish council meeting by deputy clerk David Boyce.
He said: “The 2017-18 grant budget was £8,000 but if we get more applications than that amount allows then we can adjust it.
“But the new grants policy will have a safeguard in that groups will have to produce the previous year’s financial accounts, plus an explanation of where and how the money will be used.
“In the case of national charities, if it can prove that what it’s doing is benefiting locally, then you can look at it on a discretionary basis.
“Otherwise, they are different entities and I know that you would want to be supporting charities that are local to Holbeach.”
The new policy will be applied to applications from the Friends of Sezanne, a group promoting links between South Holland and the north-eastern French region, South Holland Citizens Advice South Lincolnshire and 1st Holbeach Brownies group.
Speaking about the grants policy, Coun Terry Harrington said: “There’s a limit to what we can give and there should be a limit to what we can give because it’s taxpayers’ money.”
• Businesses in Holbeach can enter the town’s Best Dressed Christmas Window competition, organised by Holbeach Action Group and sponsored by Holbeach Parish Council.
Judging starts on Monday and Coun Isobel Hutchinson said: “We would encourage all businesses to make sure their windows are really festive for the last week of pre-Christmas trading and members of the public to wander round the town.”
• Holbeach Parish Council is asking dog owners for their views on moving an exercise area for their pets in Carter’s Park.
Currently, the former tennis club court is being used as a dog run but several complaints have been made about it.
A parish council spokesman said: “Holbeach Parish Council looks after lots of open spaces in Holbeach like
Carter’s Park and it has done so ever since 1928.
“Over the years, the council seen facilities come and go like a cricket club, bandstand and speedway track as the town changed, along with the growing needs of its people over time.
“Around ten years ago, the controversial decision was taken to use the old tennis club pitch as a dog run and it has seen its popularity grow over the years.
“However, to continue the trend of keeping Carter’s Park relevant, the Parish Council this year has been working on making sure that residents get the best value for money and use of the open spaces, both now and in the future.
“As such, a review of the dog area in Carter’s Park is underway and Holbeach Parish Council is eager to gather
people’s thoughts on it.”
Coun Paul Foyster, parish council vice-chairman and chairman of the parks and playing fields committee, said: “The council know that to many residents Carter’s Park is an invaluable space and Holbeach Parish Council wants to keep it that way both now and in the future.
“However, it is no secret that Holbeach is growing at a rapid rate and to help get the best out of Carter’s Park, we would like to know what the residents think about how the space is used.
“In view of this, we have placed an item on the agenda for January’s parish council meeting and have also launched a Facebook poll to help shape any future decision.”
To give your views, either search @HolbeachParishCouncil on Facebook or attend the next meeting on January 8, 2018 at Holbeach Methodist Church from 7pm.
• A new contractor will take on the daily task of locking up Carter’s Park, as well as playing fields and cemeteries in Holbeach.
The new £6,570-a-year contract will start on Monday, initially on a three-month trial basis, whilst a deal for grass cutting will be renewed after vice-chairman Coun Paul Foyster said that the current contractor made “by far the cheapest quote”.
• Sections taken off an ageing tree standing in Holbeach’s Park Road Cemetery will be used to produce a new wood carving, parish councillors agreed on Monday.
Lincoln-based “chainsaw sculptor” Mick Burns, who created the Wheatsheaf sculpture near Holy Trinity Church at the junction of Fleet Road and Foxes Lowe Road, will carry out the work some time next year.