Evelyn ward in Deptford has been chosen as one of two wards in Lewisham to benefit from a £45k tranche of money from the Neighbourhood Renewal Fund (the other is Bellingham). This is part of the participatory budgeting policy being piloted by Lewisham Council.
Local groups and residents are being invited to bid for funding for schemes that aim to meet one or more of the following criteria: encouraging volunteering, supporting young people, addressing community concerns, improving health and bringing together diverse communities. Awards can be anything from £50 to £2k.
In September there will be a special community day at which those who have applied for funding will have chance to pitch their ideas to an audience, who will then vote on which ideas will get the cash. Sounds like some kind of Deptford Dragon's Den!
Apparently only those people presenting ideas will be allowed to vote on the other proposals, although future participatory budgeting events will allow all residents to vote. I don't know the reasoning behind this decision.
Well, the closing date for applications is 15 August and if you have any ideas you can phone 020 8314 9061 for an application form.
I wish they had called it something other than "U-decide" though. I'm sure we already have enough problems with literacy in this ward without the council joining in.