More than £500,000 of community ward budgets has been spent funding 400 local projects, as councillors continue to put residents at the heart of spending in their wards.
Power was handed to residents across the borough three years ago, when community ward budgets were first introduced. The initiative is led by ward members and gives each councillor in Croydon their own budget to spend locally, but with the involvement of residents, voluntary and community groups.
The ward budget for 2017/2018 was £576,000 allocating each councillor £8,000 and making a total of £24,000 for each ward.
The money has been used to support a range of community initiatives in a variety of ways. For example, in New Addington, Allstarz gymnastics club was fundraising for a new sprung floor. They were allocated money from the ward budget which not only helped them reach their target, but also provided extra funds to support the club in purchasing additional equipment.
In Purley, some of the councillors’ budget was awarded to a job club that runs eight week courses three times a year to help residents into work, with money also given to partially cover the cost of supplying power to the office at the allotments on Pampisford Road.
In Broad Green, some of the money was used to recognise the community’s heritage and has led to 56 road signs being installed which was unveiled last weekend. The signs are in recognition of the area that used to be the Broad Green Village.
Across Croydon as a whole £57,965 of ward budgets has been contributed to school, scouts and youth projects, £203,000 has been awarded to voluntary led projects and £62,000 has been spent on parks and open spaces including the installation of outdoor gyms.
Councillor Hamida Ali, cabinet member for communities, safety and justice
“The community ward budgets are an excellent example of how devolved funding can ensure Croydon residents are at the heart of decisions made about money being spent in their local areas.
“Community ward budgets have been an excellent way to enable councillors to involve communities more in how council funding is spent in their neighbourhoods. The diversity of projects supported by councillors reflects the unique nature of each of our communities and how important it has been for councillors to support their wards in this way and deliver on what matters to residents the most.”
To find out more about community ward budgets and how to apply for a share of funding visit https://www.croydon.gov.uk/community/advice/community-ward-budgets