The Council’s approach
Not many people know, but after the problematic start to waste collection under the new contract this time last year, the contractor Amey has had to return nearly £500,000 to Elmbridge Borough.
The Council decided that the money returned should not go into the general Council fund, but should in some way go directly to the residents of Elmbridge. Some was earmarked as direct compensation to people who had paid extra for garden waste removal services as they were most affected – as a group. These people received a two-month payment holiday – which took up £160,000.
Community Green Infrastructure Improvement Fund
Of the remaining money, £100,000 will be allocated to the creation of a Community Green Infrastructure Improvement Fund. This is designed to enable community groups to bid for small grants, against pre-defined criteria, to carry out green infrastructure improvements. The scheme would allow one-off project funds to be spent in a way that encourages community buy in and ownership and ensures that the money goes towards initiatives important to the communities themselves.
It is proposed that criteria could include community involvement, volunteering, legacy, sustainability, biodiversity, more attractive and green borough etc. For example:
A community group could put in a bid to make environmental improvements to their local street scene, such as setting up an In Bloom scheme as at Cobham Station. The likely amount of grant will be up to £15K per project, to allow communities to create projects with significant impact.
Examples of such activity can be found on page 46 of the Agenda reports pack for the Cabinet meeting held on 6th June this year. .
Do let us know your ideas for Weybridge.