Peasedown councillors call for extension of community grant scheme

Councillors in Peasedown St John are calling on B&NES Council to continue operating a much-needed grants programme, to keep many community groups and projects going, now and into the future.

For almost a decade, Bath & North East Somerset Council has run a Ward Councillors’ Empowerment Fund, which has enabled elected representatives to allocate funding to initiatives in their communities.

Since 2015, Cllr Sarah Bevan and Cllr Karen Walker have distributed £20,000 to organisations in Peasedown St John, which for many has proven to be a lifeline.

Cllr Sarah Bevan (Independent, Peasedown St John) said:

“The Ward Councillor’s Empowerment Fund has been make-or-break for so many projects in Peasedown St John.

It’s funding that councillors can allocate quickly to support those in need. The Coronavirus pandemic may cause many voluntary groups to close their doors for good over the coming months.

Cllr Karen Walker and I are therefore calling on the Local Authority to allocate funding in next year’s budget for the Empowerment Fund to continue.”

Over the years, projects to benefit from funding through Sarah and Karen have included:

·      Peasedown St John Primary School

·      New Defibrillators

·      Dementia Friendly Peasedown

·      The Hive Community Centre

·      Peasedown Party in the Park

·      Bath Area Play Project

·      Peasedown in Bloom

The councillors have written to the Cabinet Member at B&NES with responsibility for finance appealing for the fund’s continuation next year.

Cllr Karen Walker (Independent, Peasedown St John) added:

“Allocating just £2,000 to each of the 59 Bath and North East Somerset Councillors, would give an opportunity for community initiatives across the whole area to feel a sense of hope and optimism for next year. This small, yet significant amount of funding really will make a difference to so many.”

A final decision on the continuation of the scheme will be made in February 2021, when Council Members meet to decide the budget and set the Council Tax level for 2021/22.