Further funding secured for Hertfordshire community groups responding to coronavirus crisis
PUBLISHED: 15:00 08 May 2020
An extra £390,000 is being made available to community groups across Hertfordshire this year, amid the county’s ongoing response to the COVID–19 outbreak.
The funding recognises the role that’s being played by community and voluntary groups across the county, and was highlighted at a meeting of Herts County Council’s cabinet panel on Wednesday, May 6.
Funds are being added to the council’s ‘locality budget scheme’, which are designed to allow councillor’s to allocate funds to local projects that promote the social, economic or environmental well-being of their area.
Each councillor will have up to £15,000, compared to the usual £10,000 – provided that at least £5000 is used for COVID-19 related schemes.
At the meeting, Cllr Ralph Sangster, executive member for resources and performance, said it would be a useful way of councillors supporting charities and groups in the current situation.
Members of the panel also heard how 250 grants, totalling more than £175,000, had already been made to voluntary and community groups.
Cllr Terry Douris, executive member for education, libraries and localism, said that since the report had been compiled for the panel, the number of grants had already increased to 312 – totalling £211,000.
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He said: “In these unprecedented circumstances it is right that we should provide this extra facility.
“This is really positive news across the whole of Hertfordshire, with a further £390,000 now being spent on support for local communities – a 50 per cent increase on the existing locality budgets scheme.
“We’ve also agreed to ring fence a significant proportion of the new total locality budgets to COVID-19 related activities to ensure that the right level of support is given to the current crisis.”
Among the projects to have received grants so far are those protecting the isolated or the vulnerable, domestic violences services and support for parents with autism.
Another project involves dedicated TV programmes to children with learning disabilities.
To apply for a grant local groups must be a limited company, a registered charity, an organisation with a recognised legal status or an unincorporated association with its own bank account.
Those organisations that are awarded a grant will be asked to keep receipts and invoices wand to supply a brief evaluation of their project.
In the first instance any group wishing to apply for funding should contact their local county councillor.
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