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Do You Have a Pet Project For Your Area? The County Council Can Make It Happen

Published on: 17 Nov, 2020
Updated on: 21 Nov, 2020

By Julie Armstrong

local democracy reporter

If you have an idea for a project that will improve your community, the county council can make it happen.

A £100 million scheme, called Your Fund Surrey, has been launched to fund projects submitted by residents and community groups that will enhance their local area.

People are being encouraged to “think big”, with about £20 million up for grabs each year over the next five years, with the minimum giveaway set at £10,000.

Cllr Mark Nuti – Image SCC

Deputy cabinet member Mark Nuti (Con, Chertsey), who is leading the fund, said: “This is ground-breaking in the public sector. I’m not aware of anything else on this scale.

“We’re giving ownership back to the residents. That is no bad idea. The council is constantly telling people what they want and what they need.

“The classic example is the youth centre that goes to rack and ruin within two years, because no one was asked if they wanted one. We’re saying, tell us what you want, and we’ll try to make it happen.

“During Covid, we’ve seen some communities grow and come back to life again. We hope to embolden them to continue coming to the fore.”

He added: “It’s lovely to be in a position where we don’t have to say no all the time. You have to speculate to accumulate. This will be a legacy for years.”

Ideas can be plotted on an interactive online map, with people able to comment, make further suggestions or simply give a project idea the thumbs-up.

So far, a shop and café owned by the community has been suggested for Normandy.

The fund was approved by SCC’s cabinet in July from their capital budget, that is for long-lasting investments. So the project needs to be something built to last, although running costs cannot be funded.

Anyone proposing an idea will need to have a business plan for how it will operate once up and running.

The five-year scheme is being funded through borrowing. This may raise eyebrows when the council needs to make about £40 million efficiencies each year over this time.

The council expects the projects to generate income and said the scheme will help the economy and build resilience in communities.

For example, a community centre could cost between £350,000 and £1 million, transforming wasteland into an Astro pitch with floodlights could cost about £200,000, and a shower block and changing-rooms for a cricket club about £95,000.

And if more funding is required, SCC will advise where to look.

Residents are asked to start thinking and speak to their county councillor, community groups, neighbours and friends about what they want.

Projects that meet the criteria with proof they can deliver a positive benefit for local people then face an application process. The first funding will be administered in Spring 2021.

Full details and the interactive map can be found at www.surreycc.gov.uk/yourfund

 

 

 

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test 2 Responses to Do You Have a Pet Project For Your Area? The County Council Can Make It Happen

  1. Catherine Houston Reply

    November 17, 2020 at 2:05 pm

    This is Tory campaigning for the upcoming Surrey County Council elections using our taxpayer funds. Utterly disgraceful.

  2. George Potter Reply

    November 17, 2020 at 6:04 pm

    I do love these Conservative pre-election wheezes.

    Borrow £100 million to spend on eye-catching community projects just a few months before an election, then ask taxpayers to pay back the debt through their taxes once the election is over and done with.

    I just hope that the Conservatives might be willing to show some pre-election honesty on how this will be paid for. However, given their past track record, I won’t be holding my breath.

    George Potter is a Lib Dem councillor for Burpham

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