New Homes Bonus

Nantwich Town Council has missed out on funds to pay for community projects under the New Homes Bonus scheme, councillors were told.

The council had submitted a number of bids for a share of the £162,000 pot made available under the New Homes Bonus fund by Cheshire East Council.

Proposed projects included improvements to the town centre public realm, work on improving Barony Park, and a joint community transport scheme with Stapeley.

However, these were rejected by a panel of Cheshire East councillors in favour of five other projects for the Nantwich area.

Successful bids were made by Audlem Community Action, N-Compass North West, Wishing Well Youth Club, Inner Trust CIC, and the Canal & River Trust scheme to improve canal towpaths in Nantwich.

Nantwich is one of seven areas of Cheshire East to benefit from an overall £2 million pot of funding over the next two years.

The other areas which can bid for different amounts are Crewe, Congleton, Knutsford, Macclesfield, Poynton and Wilmslow.

More than 200 applications were received in the first round of bids, with more than £7 million requested.

Each group can bid for a minimum of £10,000.

Nantwich Town Cllr Arthur Moran was on the panel of judges.

Arthur Moran -New Homes Bonus
Cllr Arthur Moran

He told a town council meeting last night (March 7): “There was a full and frank discussion about the bids, and the ones that came out on top were the ones approved.

“The one that was particularly important for Nantwich was the improvements to the street scene, public realm. You walk around the town and see there are lots of small things that need doing.

“If we wait around for Cheshire East Council to do them we could be waiting for five years.

“This council (Town Council) has got the money in its reserves and maximum cost of this work would be £40,000. We should fund this and get the jobs done.

“If we don’t help ourselves, no one else will.”

Cllr Peter Groves, in agreeing, added: “If we’re going to maintain Nantwich as an attractive place to be, and we are very fortunate, then I agree the town council should pay for the work that needs doing.”

Mayor of Nantwich Cllr David Marren suggested town councillors could look to their own Ward annual budgets to help fund the work.

Each of the 12 town councillors receives £2,000 annually to spend on projects in their Ward.

There is still more than £19,000 left across the 12 councillors.

Cllr Andrew Martin added: “It doesn’t matter which pot it comes from, as long as the work gets done for the benefit of the town.”

Councillors agreed to look at the scheme in more detail at a forthcoming Policy Committee.

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