Last year I was really proud to launch the pilot the “Your community your cash” scheme where decent neighbourhoods funding will be directly budgeted for by local residents. I believe that the best way to ensure that money to improve neighbourhoods is spent wisely is to get local people involved. This money is funded from council tenants rents and is used to improve council estate areas. it is a great example of what the Labour party in Reading has been campaigning for – a council that works better with residents and involves everyone.
I have given a pre-recorded interview for tomorrow morning’s BBC Berkshire news bulletins, and we’re publicising this widely to ensure that as many people as possible able to thing of ideas of what they want to do.
The scheme is It will be run in more areas this year. :
- Coley Park £15,000
- Southcote £8,000 (this is less because of the money being put into the community centre as part of a major improvement by the decent neighbourhoods fund)
- Whitley Wood £15,000
- Hexham £15,000
- Town wide Youth Forums led by RBC Youth Services £10,000
- Whitley wide Pupil Council led by Whitley Excellence Cluster/Aspire 2
The total decent neighbourhoods fund is £440,000 this year, a 10% increase on last year (funded through saving on management posts in housing). For areas outside the 4 geographic areas you can put in your idea for this wider pot of funding, but it will be selected in the ‘old’ way by council officers.
This is part of allowing communities to support their own activities and improvements. Last year it was as diverse as a youth art project, improved street lighting a bingo night and a refurbishment of a church hall to become a ‘play barn’ for local under 5s.
Council press release below:
Reading residents will be given the power to decide how £73,000 of the Decent Neighbourhood Fund (DNF) should be spent to improve their local area.
The ‘Your Community, Your Cash’ initiative is giving Hexham, Whitely Wood, Coley and Southcote residents, along with members of the town- wide Youth Forums and Whitley-wide Pupil Council, the chance to put forward ideas on improving anti-social behaviour, community spirit and the general appearance of their neighbourhoods.
Reading Borough Council will support residents to turn their ideas into funding bids, which will be presented to the wider community to vote on at various fun day events. The Council will then work with residents to make the most popular projects happen.
The DNF is sourced from rent money from Council tenants. It is used to improve the appearance of the Council’s housing estates in response to direct suggestions from the tenants themselves. This year the total DNF budget is £440,000.
Reading Borough Council’s Lead Member for Housing and Neighbourhoods, Cllr Rachel Eden, said: ‘Having piloted this in Whitley Wood and Coley last year, I’m delighted that we have been able to expand this scheme this year.
‘Local people know what their neighbourhoods need and this is a great opportunity to work with the council to share ideas about how to improve your local area or support a community project.’
For more information please contact Reading Borough Council’s Neighbourhood Initiatives Officers, Julie Burnett on 0118 937 2685, email firstname.lastname@example.org or Joe Northcote on 0118 937 2298, email email@example.com