Thursday, 2 February 2012

10% increase in decent neighbourhoods fund

Even more tenants in Reading are to benefit from improvements to their neighbourhoods, thanks to the Council increasing its investment into community led initiatives by 10%.

Reading Borough Council is to boost its spend on Decent Neighbourhood Fund projects this year, meaning £440k will be invested into programmes to provide a better community for tenants all over the borough.

Last summer the Council launched the Your Community, Your Cash scheme, which is supported by the Decent Neighbourhoods Fund.

The scheme gives tenants the opportunity for groups of residents to bid for money to spend on their ideas for community improvement projects. Community cash is a pot of money from the Decent Neighbourhoods Fund to give communities the chance to manage their own improvement projects with the aim of improving the general appearance of their neighbourhood, helping to reduce anti-social behaviour and improving community spirit..

The scheme has so far benefitted tenants in Coley Park and Whitley Wood, who received funding under Your Community, Your Cash last year to set up a local bingo group, pay for a tutor and materials for the establishment of a youth art project, obtain additional street lighting, buy a second kit for the Whitley Ambulance Community Responders, obtain funding for the Play Barn at St Paul's Church and also funding for Shining Star to set up a new group for families with disabled children.

The Council has already been talking to tenants in other parts of the borough about community improvement projects for this coming year. Plans include running events in South Whitley, Coley Park, Hexham Road and also Southcote. The scheme will also pay for work with various youth forums across Reading to run a Your Community, Your Cash event for youngsters.

Rachel Eden, lead councillor for housing and neighbourhoods, said: 'The Decent Neighbourhoods Fund is a great opportunity for tenants to improve their neighbourhoods. It is tenants' rents that fund this so it is important that by working together we make best use of the fund. By increasing the budget for this by 10% and extending the Your Community, Your Cash program the Council is committed to working with tenants. I'm really excited to see what improvements and community activities are funded next year.'

During 2011/2012, the Council has made Decent Neighbourhood investments into a range of projects including:
removal of broken paving slabs and laying new tarmac in Alston Walk
Cutting back overgrowth in alleyways in Woodley
Marking out parking bays in Ian Mikado Way & Windermere Road
Various bulb planting schemes throughout Reading
Landscape improvements throughout Reading
Painting rails in public open spaces throughout Reading

As well as practical improvements, Decent Neighbourhoods Funding has been invested into the Granville Road Fun Day, a youth art project in Coley Park, St Paul's Play Barn, in Whitley Wood Lane and the Hexham Tornados Football Club for under 12's.