Passing go: Community groups prosper through Community chest!
A host of community groups are celebrating after they were voted funds from a community pot offered by Mansfield District Council, Notts Police and the Home Office.
A total of £60,000 is available in funding in the District Council's pilot Participatory Budgeting scheme.
£30,000 from the District Council has been matched by £20,000 from the Home Office and £10,000 from Notts Police Authority to fund community safety projects.
Having established a set of local priority issues at Area Assembly meetings over the last three months, Mansfield residents were invited to two events to listen to presentations and deliberate on a wide range of projects that addressed these issues.
Mansfield Town's Executive Lounge at Field Mill was filled to capacity as more than 150 people took part in Mansfield District Council's pilot Participatory Budgeting scheme last Saturday (28 February).
The two events saw residents from West Mansfield (Broomhill, Cumberlands, Grange Farm, Ladybrook and Pleasley wards) and South Mansfield (Berry Hill, Eakring, Portland and Ravensdale wards) have their say on how approx £20,000 of public funding was spent on projects in each area.
For West Mansfield; Crescent Primary School came top of the vote and was allocated £422.85 to set-up an allotment for the school with the aim of engaging children and parents in planning the plot to grow vegetables to cook and share.
The school, on Booth Crescent, was also voted £1,700 for facilities to set up a nurture group to address behaviour and social skills in a small number of children, which may be hindering some children's education and performance.
Sue Senior, Senior Teaching Assistant at the School, who presented bids at the event, commented: "It is fantastic that we have received this money."
"The allotment project will give our children the opportunity to get out and learn how to grow their own fruit and vegetables, to get exercise and learn about healthy eating."
"The nurture group will give some of our children a safe environment where they can discuss any problems without impacting on the learning of other children."
Bull Farm Football club were given £500 to enable them to register in the FA league.
Speaking at the event, Chief Constable of Notts Police, Julia Hodson, commented: "I am impressed that so many people have turned out and supported these causes."
"This community pot is another way to make life better for all of us. Just a few hundred pounds makes a huge difference to get projects off the ground."
Other causes benefiting from public funding at the West Mansfield event include: the North Notts Society for the Deaf, All Saints' RC School.
At the South Mansfield event, held in the afternoon, residents voted fund to Cantamus Girls' Choir, who are planning to give workshops to extend their expertise to both girls and boys from the South Mansfield area and who attend Samworth Church Academy, directly and addressing the agreed priority of providing activities for young people in the South Mansfield area by increasing involvement in musical theatre, dance, languages and drama.
Sheila Haslam, Secretary of Cantamus Girls' Choir, commented: "I am delighted that our project has been given the go-ahead. This will give us the opportunity to make the group better-known."
"For more than 40 years, we have encouraged all girls to take part in and enjoy choral singing and we hope this funding will give us the opportunity to do the same for others."
Other groups benefiting from funding are: King Edward Primary School, SHE – a support group offering help and advice to victims of sexual abuse, NOMADS Cricket Club, Brunts Family of Schools.
Notts Police have also been allocated money to fund a smart water project to benefit the residents of the East Titchfield beat.
Alan Budge from the Participatory Budgeting Unit, a Government advisory group appointed to oversee the process, added: "The outcomes of both of these pilot Participatory Budgeting events held here in Mansfield have been overwhelmingly positive."
"The turnout has demonstrated a commitment in the community to support projects in their local areas and it is evident that the amount of money available in funding gave them confidence in the process."
A full list of the successful projects for each area is as follows:-
MDC Funded projects: Crescent Primary School – allotment, Mansfield and North Notts Society For Deaf People, Crescent Primary - nurture group, All Saints' RC School, Bull Farm Football Team, Ethel Wainwright School, Pleasley Landmark Centre, Mansfield Children's Centre - Social Inclusion Support Worker, QE School.
Notts Police Authority and Home Office funded projects: Layton Borough Resident Association, Upper Ladybrook Neighbourhood Watch, St Johns Youth Project - Go Kart Building, St Johns Youth Project - Lego Mindstorms, St Johns Youth Project - Street Reach, Mansfield Bowling Club (CCTV), LNMT - bike racks.
MDC Funded projects: Cantamus Girls' Choir, King Edward Primary School, Brunts Family of Schools, Think Children.
Notts Police Authority and Home Office funded projects: SHE ( Survivors Helping Each Other), NOMADS Cricket Club, Notts Police - Littleworth and Berry Hill (East Tichfield).
The Participatory budgeting event for East Mansfield will be held on Saturday 14 March, 10am-1pm at Kings Way Hall, Clipstone Road, Forest Town.
Similar Participatory Budgeting events will be held later in 2009 for residents in North Mansfield and Warsop to vote funding for projects in their neighbourhoods.
More information about the process, along with frequently asked questions can be found at www.mansfield.gov.uk/itsyourmansfield.