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Two Grand or Two Grand

(July 02, 2013)

  Town Councillors put in quite an innings as they batted away some applications for grant aid with a financial boundary which meant six and out for some on Monday night.

  Several dozen requests for money from the grants pot agreed at the beginning of the year by Warminster Town Council went well over the £13,000 available.

  The first application saw the Athenaeum Limelight Players out of favour  as some councillors linked their bid to another one from Athenaeum Trust.

  The delivery of the next decision to a request from Warminster Cricket Club will see money for  more cricket balls and a  follow on application to the Olympic Lagacy Fund.

   "This was our first experience of how the previous six-year-old council takes its decisions about how it gives away public cash," said Cllr. Paul Macdonald.

  "I tried to suggest a new approach that we first go through taking out those who did not meet our aspirations but that was rejected."

  Ten organisations had applied for the maximum £2,000 grant with one being completely rejected. Two were successful.

  "I spoke very strongly in favour of  Highbury FC," explains Cllr. Paul Macdonald.

  "I gained unanimous support for their work after my words about not only how they are a very positive influence on our youngsters but those youngsters go on to be a positive influence.

  "This weekend a memorial event enjoyed a very successful day which not only provided a sporting event but I believe raised £1600 for charity."

  The only other application that got the maximum 'two grand' was the Athenaem Trust who need  the £2,000 'to draw up professional plans for the redevelopment of theatre component of the Athenaeum'.

 "It was a mixed bag for the rest of the applicants but many got a good share of their request," adds Paul.

  "I noticed that those around the table saw that I was not comfortable with the process that we endured. There has to be a better way of doing this."

  The council had received no applications to the Olypmic Legacy which had £10,000 set aside after an initiatve by Councuillor Paul Batchelor last year to encourage applications from new groups.

"I expressed my surprise to the chairman of the committee and town clerk before the meeting that sports organisations had aaplied to this," said Cllr Jamie Cullen.

"I am pleased that the Warminster Bowmen will now apply to this source of funding as a result of my speaking up." 

 *At the same meeting the town council voted to overspend their budget to get table coverings spending £2,378. Paul and Steve voted aginst. Jamie put his hand up for aye. Another first for Independents on our town council. We listen to the debate at town council meetings and vote independently.

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