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Neighbourhood boards set out £500,000 spending plans for South Norfolk Localism scheme

PUBLISHED: 06:30 24 July 2012

Martin Wilby, deputy leader of South Norfolk Council.

Martin Wilby, deputy leader of South Norfolk Council.

Archant Norfolk Photographic © 2011

Community groups across South Norfolk have set out how they will spend almost £500,000 this year on a scheme aimed at embracing the government’s Big Society project.

Leaders at South Norfolk Council say they are leading the charge on adopting a Localism initiative, which will result in local people having more of a say over where the district council’s money will be spent.

The authority has pledged to allocate £560,000 this year from the New Homes Bonus to the project, which is being divided between five neighbourhood boards.

Councillors have given their backing to the plan after community groups and parish councillors put in their bids for schemes aimed at enhancing where they live.

A total of £480,200 of the £560,000 earmarked for the ‘Your Neighbourhood Your Choice’ project is set to be spent, which includes community safety, healthy lifestyle, environment enhancement, and projects to boost the local economy.

The money has been split between the Waveney Valley, Eastern River Valley, Tas Valley, Tiffey Valley, and Northern River Valley neighbourhoods depending on the size of population and level of new housing growth.

All five boards have pledged to spend £3,200 each to purchase a speed awareness machine to be loaned out to parishes to combat speeding drivers.

A total of almost £260,000 has been pledged across all five areas on helping to increase job opportunities for young people by extending jobs club provision in the area and working with local schools to align the needs of future job opportunities with the right training and education and to recruit business mentors.

Other ideas include sport coaching schemes to improve the population’s health and gardening services, home energy and home security checks to support vulnerable people.

The Waveney Valley board, which covers the Diss and Harleston areas, has dedicated £9,000 to support existing festivals and carnivals in the area and increase the amount spent in town centres by locals and visitors. The Tas Valley board wants to spend £4,000 to fund part of the costs of a new safer crossing across the B1113 at Bunwell.

The Big Society scheme aims to invest £2.4m in South Norfolk over the next three years.

Martin Wilby, deputy leader and cabinet member for communities and localism said it was time to deliver people’s suggestions.

“No other local authority in England is as far advanced as South Norfolk Council in delivering on the government’s localism agenda.”

“We are putting real power into the hands of local people to help shape services in their local area - and we are backing that with substantial funding.

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