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Two grant schemes to be reduced to save South Kesteven District Council money

Two council community grant schemes are set to be reduced as part of cost-saving measures.

South Kesteven District Council has proposed plans to cut the amount given to good causes and community projects through its ward member grants scheme and community fund.

The ward member grants scheme was launched in 2018 and gives each of SKDC’s 56 councillors a budget of £1,000 to award to community projects, initiatives and good causes.

SKDC cabinet member for finance Coun Adam Stokes
SKDC cabinet member for finance Coun Adam Stokes

The community fund provides grants of up to £10,000 for community initiatives and up to £5,000 for community events.

Recipients have included registered charities, voluntary groups and youth groups.

But at a meeting of the cabinet on Tuesday, councillors approved a recommendation to reduce the ward member grants Scheme from £1,000 to £500 per councillor.

They also approved for the community fund to be reduced from £150,000 to £100,000.

In the budget proposal report for 2020/21, SKDC cabinet member for finance Coun Adam Stokes (Con) said: “Over recent years the council has introduced a wide range of community focussed grants and financial support in the form of the Community Fund, Member Ward scheme, LotterySK and CrowdFund SK. The value of these is in excess of £250k and is considered that these seperate funds can be consolidated and co-ordinated to ensure maximum impact.

“Therefore, it is proposed to reduce the ward member scheme to £500 per member and reduce the community fund by £50,000 to a new budget level of £100,000.

“Based on current spending profiles it is anticipated that the reduced levels will meet the existing demand.”

District councillor Charmaine Morgan, who represents the St Vincent’s ward in Grantham, said the slashing of the community grants was ‘disappointing’.

What do you think? E-mail your views to: smeditor@stamfordmercury.co.uk

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