HOLBEACH PARISH COUNCIL: Tougher guidelines ahead for funding in community
New guidelines on grants for community events are to be drafted by Holbeach Parish Council after concerns about “giving money to raise money”.
A request for a donation towards a Christmas Fayre at Holbeach Community Centre on December was declined by parish councillors due to organiser Les Ward’s plans to give profits from the event to Lincs and Notts Air Ambulance.
The giving of grants to outside groups is always a difficult subject and so, to make things much clearer to the public and to make our decisions easier, we should have a clear policy on grants
However, other requests for parish council cash from Holbeach Army Cadets Force and the annual Holbeach St Nicholas Christmas Fayre were both approved, with £500 and £150 going to each group respectively.
The case for clearer guidelines on funding requests was made by former parish council chairman Coun Isobel Hutchinson who said: “The giving of grants to outside groups is always a difficult subject and so, to make things much clearer to the public and to make our decisions easier, we should have a clear policy on grants as to what is eligible and what amount.
“I therefore want us to adopt a policy at our November meeting so that everyone can be clear on what we can provide to outside groups.”
During Monday’s council meeting, Coun Hutchinson argued that the council would be “giving money to raise money” if it supported Mr Ward’s event.
The Holbeach St Nicholas Christmas Fayre, held in and around All Saints Church for the past three years, nearly fell foul of the same principle but for Coun Rachel Flood’s explanation that it was an event put on for the community.
In a letter to parish councillors, Jane Francis, of All Saints Church, said: “Holbeach St Nicholas Community Fayre is an independent, non-profit making organisation which is affiliated to Holbeach Regeneration, the organisation that runs the Holbeach Food Fayre.
“The Community Fayre committee is made up of representatives from many organisations within the town and the whole idea is to bring the community together with an event that everyone can enjoy.”
In its request letter, Holbeach Army Cadets Force confirmed that it plans to use the £500 donation from the council for new rucksacks for cadets to use on an expedition as part of their Duke of Edinburgh’s Award work.
The letter said: “One of the award’s founding principles is that it should be accessible by all and by providing a simple rucksack to a cadet, we are helping to fulfil this principle.”
• A group set up to improve three Holbeach parks has received a boost from supermarket giant Tesco.
The Friends of Holbeach Park group has been awarded £4,000 through the store’s Bags of Help scheme where money raised through the sale of carrier bags is used to fund community projects across the UK.
Trustees of the group, set up in March by Holbeach mums Kay Piccaver and Kelly Wilson, will use the cash to buy a swing and play panel for children at Carter’s Park.
Kelly said: “We’re over the moon with the support from customers of Tesco’s Holbeach store in helping us to obtain the maximum amount for Carter’s Park.”
• Trustees for Holbeach Drove and Whaplode Drove Playing Fields Association have strengthened links with Holbeach Parish Council after a funding request.
Although parish councillors were unable to make a donation, they did give advice on obtaining grants elsewhere.
Coun Val Gemmill said: “I used to live in Holbeach Drove and there used to be a lot of interaction between the two villages.”
• A planning application for 39 homes in Holbeach has gone to an appeal after it was originally turned down on noise disturbance grounds.
Leicestershire developers Benchmark Properties want to build a mix of one, two and three-bedroom homes on land off the A17 and Low Lane, near housing in and around Battlefields Lane South.
South Holland District Council turned down the scheme in April after it received nearly 50 objections from the public, including a 30-name petition.
The appeal is set to be heard on October 24 when parish and district councillors are to restate their view that the original application included questionable noise assessment data and measures to mitigate against it.
Coun Martin Howard, parish council chairman, said: “The reason South Holland District Council gave for turning down the development was valid, as was the reason given by Holbeach Parish Council.”