Sunday, 5 May 2013

Vote For Council Cash

Over recent months I have reported on various occurrences in Worcester Park that have been funded by last year’s Participatory Budgeting Scheme. This is a scheme where local people from three wards: Worcester Park, Nonsuch and Stonecot (Basically Worcester Park, North Cheam and a bit of Morden) vote on how to distribute £50,000 of cash allocated to the area by Sutton Council. Normally it would be up to elected councillors to decide which projects receive the money but this way local people get to play decision makers and choose how the money is spent.

Each bidder has a few minutes to make a presentation about their bid, explaining why it is important for their project to get the necessary funding.

It just so happens that the next such event is happening this coming Saturday (11th May) and all residents of the area who are over over 16 are being encouraged to turn up and participate in deciding which projects get funding and which ones go without. It is being held at Cheam High School, Chatsworth Road, Cheam, SM3 8PW and starts at 9:30am. Entrance is from Chatsworth Road. Participants should expect to park their car off site and follow the signs and the red line on the footway to the School hall. You need to be there from the beginning to vote – so you can’t just turn up at the end and vote for your mate’s project!

There are 15 projects bidding for funding and some are going to miss out. If you want to help projects in your local area get the dosh, be there and help them achieve it.

Wearing one of my community hats as Chair of The Friends of the Daisy Field I put in a bid. As I have been telling people:
“For several years we have invited students from nearby Glenthorne High School to join us planting trees in the Daisy Field park, only to have some of them broken and destroyed by vandals again. In working with the students we want to help instil a feeling of shared ownership of the park and a responsibility towards the local community. This in my view is one of the best ways to combat such mindless vandalism. That and replanting the destroyed trees each time. This costs money and we are looking for £5,000 to cover tree planting costs for the next two years.”
Another bidder, Alan Plant from the Church Hill, Abbotts & Priory Residents Association (CHAPRA) said “Chapra is working to replace our Lost Trees, some were only planted in February. Please come along on the 11th of May to vote for this issue and help us complete the task.”

The list of projects and their organisers are:

  • Sutton Common Park seeding - Biodiversity
  • Church Hill Road improvements - Mr and Mrs Ridout
  • Living History film - Sutton Film Makers
  • Cuddington Pond - Biodiversity
  • Library Garden - Friends of Worcester Park Library
  • Hedge treatment - Biodiversity
  • Buggy Store - Green Oak Children’s Centre
  • Police film - Sutton Film Makers
  • Dance in Stonecot  - Ambition Dance and Drama Group
  • Improvements in Stonecot  - Stonecot traders
  • Off the Grid - Sutton Ramp Events
  • Replacement and New Tree Planting - Friends of the Daisy Field
  • Tree Planting - CHAPRA
  • Activskate - Sutton Ramp Events
  • Wildlife and Vegetable Garden - Green Oak Children’s Centre