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County councillors to get new environment grants next year
1:43pm Wednesday 26th September 2012 in News
HAMPSHIRE County Councillors will be given annual £10,000 grants to help the environment from next year.
The grants begin in the 2013/14 financial year so councillors have more power to make changes in their own wards.
It is a new scheme costing £780,000 which is funded through the council’s corporate policy reserve.
Meanwhile next month councillors will receive an extra £5,000 each for community projects this year to make up for the delay.
Council leader, Conservative Ken Thornber , said: “For me this is what localism means, using the elected members of this council to decide what is necessary in their divisions, rather than some civil servant in Whitehall.”
Although councillors welcomed the scheme at a full meeting Thursday (Sept 20), concerns were raised over whether it was enough money to make an impact.
Cllr Keith House, leader of the Lib Dems in opposition, said: “We support this process but if you add it all up it is half of one per cent of our total budget that we can spend ourselves. The other 99 per cent of the budget is decided by the county cabinet. This is not localism.”
But Councillors agreed the scheme in principal and the full details will be confirmed by next May.