Council gives out grants to groups

Staff at Home Care Erewash
Staff at Home Care Erewash

COUNCILLORS have said they are pleased that grants for community groups in the borough have not been cut as £47,500 was dished out this week.

Erewash Borough Council’s executive committee has approved the move to divide the cash between 52 groups, including Erewash Community Transport and the Whitworth Kids’ Club, with individual grants ranging from £6,141 to £50.

Lead member for community services Cllr Carol Hart said that the amount has been kept at the same level as last year.

“It’s a very difficult situation,” she explained. “We would love to be able to provide more, but we have kept the same amount and tried to be very fair across the spectrum.”

Although most groups received less than they asked for from the authority, most received more or the same as they did in last year’s budget.

Cllr Hart said that groups asked for more than £100,000 from the council in total, which it was not able to give because of budget constraints.

She said: “Most groups have got some money, but it may not have been what they had hoped for.”

Groups who received the most include subsidised travel group Erewash Community Transport, which was awarded £6,141, Cotmanhay-based Bright Street Laundry, which received £2,000, and Heanor Road charity Home Start Erewash, which has been given £1,700 for a family support group.

Jo Hallam, senior co-ordinator at Home Start Erewash, said: “Every year the grant is harder to come by and this year they changed the criteria so we never take it for granted. We are thrilled.”

The group asked for £3,421.38 from the authority. Jo added: “We weren’t disappointed. We are very grateful for the money. I think in this current financial climate the fact they haven’t reduced the amount they give is remarkable.”

At a meeting today (Thursday), councillors are set to give the green light to plans which would see cash released quicker to community groups.

Currently, grants of more than £1,000 must be approved by the council executive. New plans would allow grants of up to £2,000 to be approved directly by Cllr Hart in a bid to cut bureaucracy.