Peterborough City Council community fund re-instated - six months after it was controversially ditched

Fund gives councillors £1,000 to spend in their ward

By Stephen Briggs
Thursday, 16th June 2022, 11:33 am
Updated Thursday, 16th June 2022, 4:09 pm

Peterborough City Council has re-introduced the Community Leadership Fund – six months after it was controversially ditched.

The Community Leadership Fund (CLF) gives city councillors £1,000 each to spend in their ward.

In the past the fund has been used by councillors to buy benches, street lights and defibrillators for community use.

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Peterborough City Councillor Christian Hogg, Liberal Democrats leader

But in January the funding was stopped by the cash strapped authority – before some councillors had chance to spend the money.

At the time, Peterborough City Council leader Wayne Fitzgerald said: “Capital spending has been frozen at the council for the time being and discretionary funding in all but essential areas has been curtailed.

“This was a decision taken by the finance team given the councils current financial situation, however, all in year CLF spend that was already underway or had been promised will still be honoured.”

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However, just six months after the funding was stopped, it has been re-introduced.

A spokesperson for Peterborough City Council said: “Each Councillor has been allocated £1,000 to spend each financial year on neighbourhood projects. Examples of CLF projects include improving open spaces, improving accessibility to community facilities, investing in community building and improving road safety.

“The CLF has been reinstated after we decided to lift the Captial Programme moratorium which was introduced in the last financial year to stop all capital expenditure, regardless of the funding source. The CLF is funded from Section 106 funding, not from the council’s own resources or from borrowing.”

The news has been welcomed by councillors in the city.

Cllr Christian Hogg, leader of the Liberal Democrats in Peterborough said: "At a time that we are all finding our budgets squeezed by price rises, community groups are in even greater need of our support.

“With the announcement of CLF being reinstated only happening recently, I think most councillors will be taking time to consider carefully where to spend their allocation. I would urge community groups to get in contact with their local councillors with ideas on how they might use some money to enhance their provision to the community."

Cllr Shaz Nawaz, leader of the Labour Party in the city said: “I intend to use some of the funding to assist local community groups with vital capital equipment. We were able to use last year's funding before it was withdrawn to contribute towards a defibrillator for Central Park. That is something which was much needed and I'm delighted it will be installed in the coming weeks.”

Cllr Chris Harper, leader of the Peterborough First group urged community groups to get in touch about the money, and added: “The return of the Community Leadership Fund (CLF) is very welcome; it is a small but vital way for councillors to support local community initiatives such as community herb and vegetable gardens, defibrillators, play equipment, benches and additional bins and it has been used many times in our ward to help support community centres, schools, nurseries, and youth clubs.”