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You Decided! Folkestone West residents award grants for local projects

November 9, 2009 4:35 PM
Originally published by Folkestone and Hythe Liberal Democrats

Around 100 local residents turned out to the Tower Theatre in North Road, Folkestone on Saturday to decide £15,000 of grant funding for local projects. Folkestone West County Councillor Tim Prater is the first in Folkestone to give power direct to local residents to decide on which projects they want to see backed with £15,000 of grant funding.

The projects which received the full backing they bid for were:

  • The National Autistic Society - £2,000
  • The Folkestone Gurkha Nepalese Community - £1,560
  • Folkestone and Hythe Sea Cadets - £1,300
  • Folkestone Invicta Youth Football - £1,500
  • St Georges Youth work - £1,300
  • Folkestone, Hythe Operatic & Dramatic Society - £1,270
  • Church Street Project - £1,500
  • 4th Cheriton Guides - £750
  • Skillnet Group CIG - £1,518
  • Sandgate Chichester Memorial Hall - £1,000

Additionally, the Sandgate Heritage Trust received the remaining £1,300 towards the refurbishment of their kitchen facilities at the Old Fire Station, Sandgate High Street.

Lib Dem County Councillor Tim Prater was the first in Shepway to give power direct to local residents to decide on which projects they want to see backed with £15,000 of grant funding. The "You Decide" initiative invites local people to vote for the projects they think will most benefit the area.

After the event, Tim Prater said:

"It was a great event and I'm delighted and grateful for all the people that came along and had their say, and decided which projects they wanted to support. Of the 84 County Councillors in Kent, four of us have used this approach to distributing local grants - the first time its been tried in the County.

"The reaction from all those that were there was really positive, and there was also lots of feedback on how to improve the events in future. These included an exhibition area to allow projects to give more information and answer questions, and looking for other bodies that have grants available to come along to speak to bidding. We'll certainly look to make that happen next year!

"All of the applications were really good - which made the job of deciding between them really difficult! With 11 projects bidding for a total of £15,700 on this occasion it meant the ten top rated projects got all they wanted, and the 11th received £700 less than they bid for.

"I hope many more County Councillors will use the really positive example from Folkestone West and give their local residents a say in where grants should go in future."