LETTER: Community group plea over funding projects

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There has been recent correspondence published in your paper regarding some ward councillors not providing funding for community and residents’ groups. May we input our feelings on this matter, as we are also a community group?

We, like most groups in the borough, have been supported by our local councillors with ward opportunities funding in the past when it was needed.

We agree groups should look at outsourcing funding to help keep them going and it’s something we and many more groups do, but funding requests don’t always succeed or there may be a long time-scale before you find out if you’ve been successful or not; so knowing you can always call on your councillors for financial help comes as a great relief to all the volunteer groups and their users.

We understand the council leader had commented in the Express that the Executive feels she should not give financial help to any organisation that has received funding in the past. We find this hard to swallow. We, Burnley Wood Youth & Community group, and most probably many more, would like her to reconsider her and her Executives’ thoughts on this and make funding available to the community and residents’ groups if and when needed.

In her pre-election speech, Coun. Cooper promised to work with community groups and volunteers of the borough and to increase ward funding from £10,000 to £11,000 by inputting another £1,000 to help community groups, but what good is that if there’s restrictions imposed on the use?

We are all aware of the recession and the cuts being imposed on the country, but our community groups are not immune to the increase in costs, as companies put up their prices on the services they supply. Like most groups, we don’t expect the ward funding to be spent entirely on community centres or their activities, as we know it is likely there will be other projects being delivered. But the £11,000 funds are there to be spent within the 12-month cycle or they will go back into the council’s coffers as unspent funding and be lost. So, please allow us to spend them how and when they are needed.