Groups can bid for cash to honour Queen’s 90th birthday

The Queen walking amongst the crowd, after attending morning service at West Newton Church. Picture:

The Queen walking amongst the crowd, after attending morning service at West Newton Church. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: Ian Burt

Community funding of £90,000 is to be shared between groups across the borough in honour of the Queen’s 90th birthday celebrations.

Labour leader Trevor Wainwright at the latest full council meeting, proposed a motion that would allow for community groups and local projects to apply for up to £1,500 grants from a £90,000 community fund pot.

However, the idea was criticised by one councillor after an earlier proposal to put money towards an improved play area at Beaconsfield was turned down.

Lee Sutton - who was in approval of the Queen grant - said he received a report that the equipment at play area did not meet the safety standards required, because of unsuitable chains holding up the swings, missing fittings and concrete that is not level.

He proposed an amendment in the budget report, that £20,000 of unsupported borrowing be added for a phased £200,000 project to improve the Beaconsfield play area - the additional £180,000 through external funding.

However councillors, voted 15 to 12 against the proposal.

Cllr Colin Fox, criticised the fact that money for the play area was turned down, while £90,000 was to be spent on grants for the Queen’s birthday.

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He said: “At this meeting we have been saving every penny we can, and we have refused to put money on a playground which is used by half the town - but we are going to fund £90,000 for a party for the Queen.”

Cllr Wainwright, said that no club was “too big or too small” to receive an award.

He added: “This is not a party, it is about giving organisations something valuable to celebrate the Queen’s birthday. It is a good little addition, it’s not a gimmick it’s coming from the general reserves budget which is very healthy.”

“It would be overseen by a cross party group of councillors and prominent members of the committee to go to groups across the borough.

“It would recognise the value of dedicated volunteers in our community, whether they are in sports clubs aspiring the next generation of footballers and athletes, training air cadets or scouts, providing a hot meal, protecting the countryside and so much more.”

The proposal was added as one of the recommendations to the council’s budget report which was heard at the meeting.

The entirety of the budget was approved by 22 councillors, three were against, and there were 14 abstentions.