Every electoral ward in Merton is to be given a grant of £15k for neighbourhood projects which enhance the local area.
At a meeting on Monday, Merton Council’s Cabinet agreed to allocate the funding to every ward in the borough for initiatives to improve the public space. Each ward will have three years to spend their £15k allocation.
Merton Council will open applications from early spring, when communities will be able to select from a list of types of projects to be funded by the £15k for their wards. The list includes initiatives which are not already covered by the Council’s contracts with idverde, Veolia or FM Conway and meet criteria set out by the Government for spending the Neighbourhood Community Infrastructure Levy.
Schemes may include providing alley gate schemes, benches, painting or renewing fences or installing children’s playground equipment. Other options are planting bulbs or supporting volunteer group clean ups. There may be opportunities to pool funding with neighbouring wards or combine grants.
Applicants need to put forward their selections to their ward councillors, who must all agree to the proposals before submitting them to the Council for approval.
In addition, during the spring, communities can submit bids to a separate fund called the Neighbourhood Fund. The Neighbourhood Fund is available for a broader range of projects that Merton Council and communities have decided would address their priorities for Neighbourhood Community Infrastructure Levy funding.
The funding for both the £15k per ward allocation and the Neighbourhood Fund projects comes from the Community Infrastructure Levy – money developers are required to pay as part of planning consent to support the demands their plans place on the local area.
The rollout of the £15k Ward Allocation initiative across the borough follows a pilot scheme which was run last year.
Merton Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Housing and Transport, Councillor Martin Whelton, said: “This funding can help make a real difference locally by allowing local communities to access funding to help improve their local area and determine priorities.
“I look forward to seeing many ideas put forward by residents, community groups and councillors on improvements that can be made to their local area from the funding.”
- Details on how to apply for £15k per ward allocation and Neighbourhood Fund money will be published on the council’s website: https://www.merton.gov.uk/planning-and-buildings/planning/community-infrastructure-levy/spending-the-levy
- Merton Council also uses Community Infrastructure Levy funding to help pay for key infrastructure projects in accordance with Regulations and Government guidance. Funding is approved as part of the Capital Programme allocation process.