Bid for cash to help your com­mu­nity

Rutherglen Reformer - - News - Edel Ke­nealy

Res­i­dents of three Ruther­glen com­mu­ni­ties are be­ing of­fered cash to im­ple­ment dream projects that will make a last­ing dif­fer­ence in their area.

Peo­ple liv­ing in West­burn, Whit­law­burn or Burn­hill have the op­por­tu­nity to bid for cash in the next round of South La­nark­shire Coun­cil’s par­tic­i­pa­tory bud­get.

Com­mu­nity Links, which has sup­ported a num­ber of com­mu­nity groups win fund­ing, is urg­ing those with ideas but a lack of fund­ing to come for­ward.

To ap­ply, peo­ple must have a new idea that will make a dif­fer­ence to their lo­cal com­mu­nity. They must have thought about where, when and how it will take place; who will be in­volved in run­ning it; and what dif­fer­ence it will make for lo­cals.

A unique pot of money within the lo­cal author­ity, the par­tic­i­pa­tory bud­get - handed down by the Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment - al­lows res­i­dents and com­mu­nity groups to get in­volved in de­ci­sion mak­ing and pri­ori­tise how money is in­vested in their area.

Pre­vi­ously funded projects have in­cluded sports and phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity projects, baby and tod­dler groups, a fam­ily fun day, en­vi­ron­men­tal im­prove­ment projects and res­i­den­tial trips for young peo­ple.

Kevin Ste­wart, Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment min­is­ter for lo­cal gov­ern­ment, said the par­tic­i­pa­tory bud­get was em­pow­er­ing com­mu­ni­ties to tackle poverty and ad­dress in­equal­i­ties in the most ef­fec­tive ways.

He said: “The par­tic­i­pa­tory bud­get is a way for lo­cal peo­ple to have a di­rect say in how, and where, pub­lic funds can be used to ad­dress lo­cal re­quire­ments. This nor­mally in­volves mem­bers of the com­mu­nity de­cid­ing through a vot­ing process how to spend part of the bud­get of a pub­lic agency such as a lo­cal author­ity.

“Our Com­mu­nity Choices fund­ing boost of £530,000 in Jan­uary 2016 means that over the past six months over 4000 peo­ple have at­tended around 50 par­tic­i­pa­tory bud­get events which have in­volved hun­dreds of com­mu­nity groups. Im­por­tantly, more than £1 mil­lion has now been dis­trib­uted demo­crat­i­cally by lo­cal peo­ple.

“I look for­ward to hav­ing fur­ther con­struc­tive dis­cus­sions with lo­cal gov­ern­ment about our shared in­ter­ests in­clud­ing how we can get com­mu­ni­ties more in­volved in lo­cal de­ci­sion-mak­ing.

“I will con­tinue to work with your lo­cal author­ity on their roles and re­spon­si­bil­i­ties and get more pow­ers into the hands of com­mu­ni­ties.”

Peo­ple who would like in­for­ma­tion can talk to a com­mu­nity devel­op­ment worker by call­ing Com­mu­nity Links on 01698 827583.

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