Ward councillors have been armed with more spending power to help their communities, thanks to the Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenheads expanding Local Budget programme.
This latest stage of the successful participatory budget (PB) that gives residents more say in how their council tax is spent will see each of the 57 councillors given £750 to support local community projects in their wards.
The councillors have flexibility to split the money between projects, award it as a lump sum to just one or they can work together to pool their resources either within their own wards or across ward boundaries, depending on the community action they believe is most deserving of a financial boost.
The member budgets enlarge the council’s PB portfolio which has already seen residents voting for how £250,000 of their council tax should be spent on schemes that are of benefit both borough wide and in the geographic areas of Windsor, Maidenhead and Ascot/The Sunnings. Residents are also continuing to vote online every month for the neighbourhood schemes bidding for a £2,000 share of a further £50,000 pot of council cash.
Cllr David Burbage, Council Leader, said:
“PB has been a fantastic and ongoing success. we have seen more and more residents wanting to use their votes to influence how this capital money should be used. now we are giving more spending power to individual councillors too so they can put £750 to what they believe is the best use in their own wards.
“Member budgets have existed for some time in a number of other authorities and represent a successful and direct method of addressing local priorities. This is a good opportunity for people involved in community projects and schemes to lobby their ward councillors for funding. It is another aspect of the council’s determination to make services and spending as local as possible and responsive to community needs at street level.”
Further information about the ward councillors’ PB is available on the PB web pages at http://www.rbwm.gov.uk/ (click on Your Local Budget) and information about how they spend their allocations will be published as it becomes available over the next few months.