Huddersfield Daily Examiner

Community grants to continue despite budget pressures

- By JOHN GREENWOOD Local Democracy Reporting Service

SOMETIMES the smallest of grants can make a big difference to community organisati­ons, said a councillor hoping they can keep coming.

Calderdale councillor Dot Foster said she hoped ward forum grants – an annual £5,000 for each of the borough’s 17 wards, from which forums can then award smaller amounts up to £500 – would continue despite the council facing budget pressures.

Cabinet member for Public Services and Communitie­s, Clr Jenny Lynn (Lab, Park) said they had been secured for the coming year.

Clr Foster (Lab, Sowerby Bridge), said in her ward a bowling club, churches, the town’s rail station group, community groups, the Rotary club and get-together group and others all benefit from the ward forum grants.

“This clearly shows the huge value of ward forum grants.

“That sort of expenditur­e makes a big difference to small organisati­ons and I really hope that money will be protected as it has in the past,” she said.

Sowerby Bridge had a mere £88 left at the end of the year which she hoped could be carried forward.

Clr Lynn said the grants allowed ward forums to support local groups.

They had to be considered when budget deliberati­ons – it had a legal duty to set a balanced budget – took place but had been secured for the next 12 months.

“I have to be honest with you and say that it’s been tough every year for the last few years to try and balance the books.

“You’re kind of thinking ‘well, what can we do’ and what do we have to get rid of and everything.

“It’s one of the ones you look at and you think ‘can we still afford it?’

“But we have been able to manage to afford it, and I’m really pleased that going forward we will be able to do that in the next municipal year,” she said.

 ?? ?? Clr Dot Foster
Clr Dot Foster

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