Council commitment to community groups 'as strong as ever' despite government cuts

Eastbourne Borough Council’s commitment to community groups in the town is ‘as strong as ever’ after Cabinet councillors agreed a wide range of grants this week.
 
The awards are in addition to other council grants including major grants to groups such as the Citizen’s Advice Bureau and YMCA, housing grants, devolved ward budget funding, rent support grants and the disability inclusion fund, an overall package of community support worth nearly £600,000.
 
Councillor Alan Shuttleworth, Cabinet Member for Direct Assistant Services, said:
 
“At a time when the government has stopped all the funding we used to receive for local services, I’m very proud that in Eastbourne we have managed to continue to provide this crucial extra support.
 
“We have always recognised the immense value of voluntary and community activity and its contribution to the wellbeing of residents living across the town.  That view is as strong as ever and will never change.”
 
The council received more applications for small grants than in recent years and following a comprehensive scoring process, 17 applicants were successful.
 
The 17 groups include Age UK (£3,000), Headway (£3,000), East Sussex Credit Union (£3,500) and Crafty Trees (£3,000).
 
Age UK supports older people in Eastbourne, Headway provides rehabilitation for people with acquired brain injuries, East Sussex Credit Union is an alternative to the high street banks, helping people in the most need and Crafty Trees is a free family craft club based in Willingdon Trees.
 
Councillors also agreed the small grant priorities for 2020/2021, with a new addition to that list for projects that support the environment and promote sustainability.
 
Councillor Shuttleworth added:
 
“The Grants Task Group has a really tough job when all the applications for these grants come in and inevitably some groups unfortunately miss out.  However, whether a group receives a grant or not, I want them all to know that the invaluable work they do, by so many unsung heroes in local communities, is a source of great pride to myself and my fellow Cabinet councillors.

“In addition, many local community groups have joined the Eastbourne Local Lottery and are raising money for their cause through it. We would encourage other groups to consider this other way of raising funds.” 

Published on 7 February 2020