Councillors across Bath and North East are to be allocated £2000 each to support projects that help improve the lives of residents in their local community.
Schemes such as planting trees, organising community litter picks, improving village hall facilities or even community events could benefit from some of the £118,000.
The leader of the council, Councillor Dine Romero, has agreed in a single-member decision to set up a Ward Councillor Empowerment Fund (WCEF) and set aside £118,000 for the scheme.
Each elected member will be able to apply for funding to allocate to projects either in their own ward or across multiple wards, if agreed by the relevant members.
Councillor Romero said: “When we took control of the council we said we’d respond to local need. This Empowerment Fund will give individual ward members the chance to do just that, delivering and supporting activities driven by residents.
“It might be planting trees on a village green, buying hi vis jackets and litter pickers for community litter picks, making improvements to disabled toilet facilities in a village hall or perhaps supporting older people’s Christmas meals.
“The idea is that ward councillors work with residents, community and voluntary organisations, parish and town councils to allocate funding to projects that help improve the lives of local people.”
Projects must meet at least one of the council’s priorities:
- Address the climate emergency
- Deliver for local residents
- Focus on prevention
- Give people a bigger say
In order to access the funding, councillors will be required to provide evidence of need, show how they will address local priorities and demonstrate that there is community support for the project through undertaking appropriate local engagement.
It is expected that projects will be drawn up with local groups such as voluntary, community and residents’ organisations, and – in parished areas- town, village and parish councils.
Projects that are seen to be supporting the aim of carbon neutrality for the area by 2030 will be particularly encouraged.
The scheme will run from November 2019 to 31st March 2021, by which date all funds must be spent.
All application forms must be submitted by no later than by 31st December 2020.