Pupils' eco fun thanks to councillor grant
10 January 2017
Primary school children in Kendal will be using fun games to learn about protecting the environment, thanks to a grant from a district councillor.
Our ward member for Kendal Castle, Councillor Chris Hogg, has used some of the money from his Member Locality Budget to purchase a giant ‘eco action’ playground set of games for Castle Park School.
The games are based on favourites such as snakes and ladders, bingo and top trumps, but all with an eco-theme, to help children understand issues such as energy saving, recycling and water saving.
The Member Locality Budget allocates £1,000 to each of our 51 councillors to be used towards community projects in their wards.
The money can be used to purchase small items or be put towards larger projects to match other sources of funding available.
Councillors have used their budgets to pay towards projects ranging from new benches and improved paths to supporting festivals and events.
The cash for the Member Locality Budget comes from the New Homes Bonus fund.
Under the New Homes Bonus the Government matches the council tax raised for new homes and properties brought back into use, with another £350 for each affordable home.
We decided three years ago to use these New Homes Bonus funds to address the needs of local communities.
Part of the money goes to the larger Locally Important Projects (LIPs) grants scheme, which since 2013 has awarded £701,500 to 56 community projects as diverse as installing a drainage scheme at a local football club pitch, improvements at village halls, supporting a community broadband initiative and funding studies to alleviate a village’s traffic congestion issues.
A further £51,000 a year is dedicated to the Member Locality Budget for individual ward councillors to allocate to local projects in their areas.
Councillor Hogg said: “I'm delighted to be able to give the pupils of Castle Park School the opportunity to learn about the environment and to have fun whilst doing so thanks to the locality grant.’’
Helen Richardson, headteacher at Castle Park School, commented that the school was grateful for the purchase of the set of games, adding: "I'm sure that it will enhance the children's play and co-operation during break and lunchtimes, as well as reinforcing the children's understanding of environmental issues."