Getting grass roots support for Gosport projects
Thursday, 19 July 2012
Local people in Gosport will soon be the first in the county to choose their favourite community projects - and then vote for which ones are funded - thanks to the new £200,000 Have Your Say grant announced by Hampshire County Council earlier this year.
At his Decision Day on 17 July, Councillor Keith Mans, Executive Member for Communities and International Relations, approved an application for £12,500 funding from the Gosport Community Safety Partnership. The Partnership will invite applications for community projects and those that meet the criteria will be put to the public vote at an open event where local people choose the projects they want to be funded from the grant awarded to the partnership.
Involving local people in decisions
Have Your Say is a new scheme that aims to involve local people in decisions about projects in their community they would like County Council money spent on. All borough and district councils, as well as parish councils, community groups and voluntary organisations have been invited to apply to run the events for people in their local areas. All applications must have the agreement of the local County Councillor in that area.
Gosport scheme based on You Decide events
The scheme in Gosport will be based on last year's successful You Decide events, which resulted in a range of projects receiving community support and funding.
Councillor Mans welcomed the Gosport application, saying:
"It is good to see organisations coming forward to generate community interest in projects that are important to local people and where they can choose which ones receive funding.
"The new grants award is similar to a well known supermarket charity scheme where customers can use their tokens to decide which local charity the store supports. Have Your Say brings local decision making down to local people, so they can support local groups and projects. It also gives local people a real opportunity to say how the money should be spent, as well as encouraging and showcasing the good work that local communities can do. Everyone is given the chance to be involved and to say which projects they want to be supported."
Sam Mitchell from Gosport Community Safety Partnership added:
"The feedback from the previous six YOUdecide events has been overwhelmingly positive, both from local people voting and projects bidding for funds. Since 2010, Gosport residents have voted for thirty two projects to be funded through the YOUdecide scheme, awarding £64,000 to worthy projects and community groups in Gosport.
"We are excited about developing this method of devolved decision making further through the Have Your Say grant, involving more Gosport residents in the YOUdecide process and supporting even more worthwhile projects locally."
The Have Your Say scheme opened on 1 June 2012 and runs until 31 March 2013. The scheme is designed to allow local people to help determine which local projects receive County Council funding to help improve their local environment, support local groups or strengthen the community.