A Letter from Nantwich

July 2010                                        

Tell us how to spend the money

Refurbishing the town centre paving is one of the ideas put forward as a capital idea

NANTWICH Town Council finds itself posing an interesting question. It wants to know how to spend a hoard of money on Nantwich. As part of this, it has decided to ask townspeople for ideas of what to do with it.

    The money comes from the sale of allotments they owned about a decade ago, a sale which put about 1million into the council coffers. The land is now the site of new houses.

    Although the council has used some of the money over the years to keep Council Tax lower than it would otherwise have been, the remainder - and the interest it earned - means the council still has about 800,000 available to spend. And they feel this is a good time to do just that.

    But Government regulations means the money can only be used for capital projects. These, the Council Leader, Steve Hope, explains in an article in The Nantwich Link (a local advertising magazine), are things such as buying land or improving buildings.

    There are three ways the money will be used. 1, the council has its own ideas; 2, the townspeople can put forward ideas: and 3, organisations have been invited to apply for grants.

    Cllr Hope's council colleague, Cllr John Lewis, (Chairman of the Finance Committee), says the three different ways are to ensure that the best value for the community is achieved.

    But, as if using the money to best advantage isn't enough, Cllr Lewis says: "We are looking for suggestions and grant applications which will bring in additional funds to the town."

    He explains that a grant from the Lottery Fund, for instance, depends on getting additional support for a project. (It usually means that members of a group seeking funding need to show they have tried to help themselves financially and aren't just sitting back expecting a hand-out.) But the council are looking to use the money in ways that will mean grants from other organisations, too.

   Ideas so far being considered by the council are: work on Mill Island, improving car parks, refurbishing the town centre paving, and work near to Nantwich Lake and the River Weaver. One idea in the latter category is the hydro-electricity scheme being put forward by a local group to utilise water rushing through the old mill race to provide power and lighting on Mill Island.

   Ideas have to be with Nantwich Town Council by December 2010. If you have a good idea, contact the Town Clerk, Riddell Graham, on 01270 619224; visit the council's website; or write to Nantwich Town Council at Brookfield Hall, Shrewbridge Road, Nantwich, CW5 7AD.

   Grant application forms can be downloaded as PDFs from the council's website.

   For anyone thinking that Nantwich is really "rolling in money" with council headquarters at Brookfield Hall - this is a single-storey wooden building and not a stately home. The council used to occupy the adjacent Brookfield House (now an old people's home) which, despite its more modest name is a larger, brick and stone, property.

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