Council taking over funding
A long-held tradition of local authority funding for an academic prize at secondary schools in the area has come under the spotlight.
With the demise of community boards, Matamata- Piako District Council has taken over the allocation of community grants.
Each ward traditionally received $5000, including an annual request from the colleges to help fund an award at the annual senior prizegiving.
At a recent council meeting, Cr Nicki Robb questioned the ‘‘community benefit’’ of the schools’ grant.
She suggested the council could continue with funding for the colleges, but look at something which is also ‘‘accessible’’ to the wider community and not just for a single student.
Mayor Jan Barnes said the grant is a way the council can engage with its community. ‘‘Youth are the future of our district.’’
In developing a community grants policy the council said the $15,000 will continue to be equally split across each town and distributed by ward councillors.
Applications will be accepted annually in two funding rounds, February and July.
The next funding round will run from July 16 to August 15.
‘‘Community groups will have four weeks to complete their application for funding,’’ said council communications officer Nicole Nooyen. ‘‘These applications will then be reviewed by the ward councillors and a decision made.’’