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Time for groups to seek grants from rates

June 7th, 2013

Tasman District Council is reminding community organisations of its 'Grants from Rates' funding scheme, for which applications must be submitted before August 30th.

Each year the TDC allocates grants to organisations to run activities in line with the Council's community outcomes. Those organisations whose "services and projects provide community-wide benefit" are able to apply.

The Council's funding assistance allows communities to meet their needs supporting volunteers and community groups. The grant acknowledges they can often provide good quality projects and services at a significantly lower cost through the contribution of voluntary labour than would be possible for the Council or commercial operators.

This year will set a new benchmark for what groups and activities can hope to receive Council support. This uncertainty follows controversial changes last year to the Local Government Act which appear to restrict Council's ability to fund what the National government calls "non-core" activities.

In his report to the Motueka Community Board for its meeting next Tuesday, chairman David Ogilvie says while previously councils could "promote the social, economic, environmental, and cultural wellbeing of communities", this wording has been changed to read to "meet the current and future needs of communities for good quality local infrastructure, local public services, and performance of regulatory functions in a way that is most cost-effective for households and businesses".

David says "Council will be reviewing its activities to align them with the new purpose. Providing cottages for elderly residents may be regarded as a 'local public service' and maintaining parks and reserves similarly. But does it include erecting goal posts, marking sports grounds, or providing funding to various community groups?

"Applications for Grants from Rates may, for example, be declined because they don't meet the 'local public service' criteria" or are not core services.

Promoting Grants from Rates, Council advises that of the grants available $20,000 is set aside for community and economic development initiatives; $40,000 for arts, culture and heritage; $30,000 for festivals and events; $25,000 for youth/children programmes; $21,000 for social services; $10,000 for community development projects in smaller communities (less than 4000 population); $10,000 for beautification schemes such as plantings, landscaping and artworks in public places; $15,000 for emergency services and $3000 for community newsletters.

As a guide, allocations average less are than $2000 per applicant. Applications must be received by end of the day Friday 30 August with the successful applications announced in mid October.

Application forms are available from Council offices and Libraries in Richmond, Motueka, Golden Bay and Murchison and via the Council's website.


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