Call to groups - make your voice heard and try for a grant

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Residents worried about a local issue have been urged to make their voice heard and community and voluntary groups have been reminded not to miss out on the chance of a grant towards a worthwhile project.

The twin message comes from West Sussex County Council Cabinet Member Peter Griffiths as the 14 County Local Committees (CLCs) across the county prepare to start holding meetings for the first time since the elections earlier this month.

Mr Griffiths, whose Corporate Relations portfolio includes overall responsibility for the CLCs, said: “Our CLCs will have more cash to support local community projects in the 2013/14 financial year, which is very good news.

“Last year CLCs had £4,000 per committee member to distribute as part of the Community Initiative Fund scheme (CIF). However, that has been increased to £6,000 for 2013/14.

“In total it means that £426,000 will be available to support worthy causes in this financial year - an increase of £113,300.

“CIF has provided £1.2 million to more than 450 community groups and voluntary organisations across West Sussex since it was started in 2006.

“Supporting strong, active communities is really important, and this funding has helped all sorts of projects organised by local people for their community from helping to run an event for local people to purchasing equipment.

“In these difficult times supporting local communities has become more important than ever, and I am delighted we have found this extra money to have even more impact, so I would urge people interested in applying to visit the CLC pages on our website to find out more, and look at the criteria.”

Full details of the criteria for the CIF scheme and how to apply can be found at www.westsussex.gov.uk together with details of when and where the committees will be meeting.

Mr Griffiths has also urged people who have a local concern to take advantage of the open forum called ‘talk with us’ which is a feature of every CLC agenda.

He said: “This is an ideal opportunity for people to air their views and ensure that any local concerns they have are registered with their County Council representatives, so they can take action where appropriate.”