East Devon District Council and Devon County Council funding pot helps communities to help themselves

A panel of councillors from East Devon District Council and Devon County Council has approved applications for 34 different community schemes, which are now receiving funding from the Parishes Together Fund for the financial year 2015/2016. A total of over £110,000 of funding has been allocated.

Designed to provide financial solutions to local issues, the Parishes Together Fund is a joint East Devon District Council and Devon County Council initiative in which the sum of £1.10 per elector in each parish is put into a central pot, which parish and town councils can then apply to for funding towards community projects. All projects, apart from ditches and drainage projects that will help prevent flooding, must benefit a wider area than that of just one town or parish council

Applications have to come from town and parish councils, but voluntary and community groups, schools and other organisations can put their ideas forward to their town or parish council. For more information visit the Parishes Together pages on the East Devon website.

Among the latest successful applications were:

  • £36,787 for Exmouth and Honiton Town Councils to buy Christmas lights for the towns, that will then be move between the towns each year so the display is slightly different. At the moment they are both renting lights every year, which is expensive.
  • £13,000 for a project led by Dunkeswell Parish Council involving 12 other parish councils, for them to purchase technology and projection equipment to be used in their community buildings.
  • Axminster Town Council, Dalwood and Kilmington Parish Councils will receive £3,946 that will go towards setting up the Axe Vale Junior Netball Club, to encourage a healthy lifestyle among young girls.
  • Axmouth Parish Council and Seaton Town Council will receive £3,370 to purchase safety equipment, high visibility clothing, chainsaw training and road signs for volunteers to carry out work on the roads safely.
  • Ottery St Mary Town Council and Newton Poppleford and Harpford Parish Council’s application for £4,763 towards putting an extension, toilet and kitchen onto Tipton St Johns Scout Hut was successful.
  • Nearly £15,000 worth of applications for ditch and drainage works in relation to flood prevention from 18 Town and Parish Councils were granted the funding they had applied for.
  • Brampford Speke and Upton Pyne will receive £666 towards improving a footpath between the two parishes, by laying sleepers over the wet and marshy path.

Councillor Tom Wright, Chairman of the Parishes Together Fund, said:

Collaboration is definitely the key to making a successful application and it is heartening to see so many local communities, parishes and town councils working together for the better good of their locality. These partnerships can make an incredible difference towards helping address local issues. It is also extremely rewarding to receive feedback from people whose lives have been actively improved as the result of these projects taking place. It encourages decision making at a local level and fosters a greater sense of responsibility within our smaller communities.

Devon County Council Leader, Councillor John Hart, said:

Devon County Council is continuing to make funds available to communities to use how they see best.

The money is available to Parish and Town Councils to spend in ways that will benefit their communities.

I am delighted to see the list of schemes that are being funded this year, especially those encouraging self-help for towns and parishes of East Devon. The County Council can no longer do what it used to.  Our spending budget is now £200 million less than it was in 2009. Self help and local resilience has to be the future for our rural community.