More than £500,000 of community ward budgets has been spent funding 400 local projects, as Croydon 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. 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. 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.
In 2016-17 the awards in Upper Norwood went to Pride Fest (£600) – festival celebrating Croydon’s LGBT community – and Crystal Palace Festival (£3700).
There were over 28,500 visitors to the Crystal Palace Overground Festival park event on 17 June 2017 and 60 per cent of these visitors live in Croydon
In South Norwood in 2016-17 the awards went to Pride Fest (£1000); Gifted Enterprise Talent Show (£500); Friends of South Norwood (£1,000), South Norwood lake – lead and dog signs (£1,000)and South Norwood and Woodside community association (£400).
In 2016, over 4,000 people came to celebrate Pride in 2017 that figure was close to 6,000 and was a very high profile and family-friendly day enjoyed by the whole community.
Gifted Enterprise Talent Show: Engagement with local young people and encouraging them to use their talents and build self esteem
Friends of South Norwood: We hope to improve the biodiversity of the woodland returning and improving native flora and fauna. This will involve recruiting volunteers from the whole of South Norwood thereby increasing interaction between diverse members of the community whether individuals or families as well as teaching the participants about conservation and forest skills.
South Norwood lake – lead and dog signs: To ensure that dog owners comply with our by-laws to keep dogs on leads whilst walking them, and picking up after their pets have fouled.
South Norwood and Woodside community association: This funding has been used to provide cushions for the folk who attend the pop-in club. We have received very positive feedback from South Norwood residents who use this service.
To find out more about community ward budgets and how to apply for a share of funding please visit https://www.croydon.gov.uk/community/advice/community-ward-budgets (Source: Croydon council press release)
NEW AIR QUALITY APP FOR LEWISHAM BOROUGH
A new app which sends air-quality alerts to people who live, work or study in the borough has been launched in Lewisham.
“The app – Lewisham Air – is one of a range of measures we are taking to tackle air pollution to make the Lewisham borough a healthier place to live and work for our residents” said a council spokesperson.
We have become one of the first councils in the UK to launch a clean-air app. “Created by Kings College London, Lewisham Air gives users the chance to check air quality in their neighbourhood, and plan low-pollution walking and cycling routes using a specially designed map.”
You can download Lewisham Air from Google Play or the Apple Store. Please search for Lewisham Air to download the app. (Source: Lewisham council press release.)
FINES FOR DROPPING LITTER INCREASE TO £150
Fixed-penalty notice (FPN) charges for litter offences will increase from £80 to £150 in the borough of Croydon from April 1st.
There are also plans to introduce an early payment option, which would see the cost reduced to £100 if the FPN is paid within two weeks of it being issued.
Cllr Hamida Ali, Croydon’s cabinet member for communities, safety and justice, said: “We want to ensure Croydon is a place residents and businesses are proud of and want to look after – and to send a clear message that we will not tolerate people who do the wrong thing and ruin the borough with litter and fly-tips.
“The council has been issuing FPNs for these offences for the past three years, but they have not been a sufficient deterrent to offenders. “This is why the council has now adopted the highest level of fine permitted and increased the charge to £150.”
There will also be an increase in the cost of FPNs for fly-posting, from £75 to £100, and for breach of a community protection notice, from £80 to £100. (Source: Croydon council press release)