Hampshire Now - your County Council magazine

Council provides grass roots support for Gosport and Chandler's Ford groups

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Hampshire County Council's 'Have Your Say' scheme, which involves local people in community decisions, is gaining momentum with the latest grants awarded to groups in Gosport and Chandler's Ford.

'Have Your Say' provides funding for local projects which have been chosen and then voted for by local people. Organisations are able to apply for a share of £200,000 in order to run their own local 'Have Your Say' event.

At his Decision Day on 24 July, Councillor Andrew Joy, Executive Member for Communities and Partnerships, approved an application for £12,500 of 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, and youngsters aged over ten years old, choose the projects they want to be funded from the grant awarded to the partnership. Seven projects in Gosport have already benefited through a previous scheme held in November 2012. These include training volunteers to become Street Pastors in Gosport, toys and equipment for use by a support group for families affected by autism, funding to support a new building for a local Scout group, and support for a free community event of live music and activities at Forton Park.

Cllr Joy also awarded £5,000 to Chandler's Ford Parish Council who will invite applications from community associations, special interest groups, clubs, societies, schools, voluntary groups and uniformed groups across the Chandler's Ford and Eastleigh West areas. At this the Parish's second 'Have Your Say' event, residents will then be asked to choose which projects should be supported.

Councillor Joy welcomed these latest grant applications saying: "The core principles of the 'Have Your Say' scheme are to identify and respond to community needs by enabling residents to select and evaluate funding opportunities. It gives people a real voice in how money is spent in their local area and provides an opportunity for local grass roots community projects to be supported.

"Districts across Hampshire have already benefited from this scheme through grants awarded last year, and these latest awards will also really help to build and strengthen these local communities by drawing people together and giving ownership through the decision-making process."

Applications to the 'Have Your Say' scheme are welcomed from local organisations including district/borough councils, town or parish councils, councils for voluntary service, community groups and community safety or other relevant partnerships. These organisations must be capable of operating the scheme locally, potentially linking this with other resources for the community to make decisions about the funding of local projects.

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