SCC borrowed money to fund a £100 million grants scheme – which has paid out … wait for it … less than 1%.
So ‘Your Fund Surrey’ stays with ‘Your County Council Surrey?’
Borough Leader and Surrey County Councillor Paul Follows asks The question we have all been asking since this ‘fund’ was created by Surrey.
The councillor with overall responsibility for a grant scheme which has so far awarded less than one per cent of its £100 million funds says criticism of it is “unfair”.
Could it possibly be because the widely trumpeted promised cash handout had organisations and residents all over the county, which included Waverley, working up bids to access the pot?
Surrey County Council’s (Tory-controlled since 1973) launched ‘Your Fund Surrey’ in November 2020 and asked residents to ‘think big’ and apply for a plump slice of the huge cash pot, to be distributed to community causes over five years.
But less than £1 million has so far been awarded and Cllr Mark Nuti, the cabinet member for communities, said it may not be possible, or necessary, to hand out the full amount.
Some opposition councillors have criticised the scheme with one saying the “giveaway bonanza” is “inexplicable” given the financial pressures facing the council.
Four grants have so far been awarded, to the delight of the residents behind those projects – including £500,000 to help build a community shop in Normandy, £30,000 to the Weybridge Men’s Shed and £35,000 to the Claygate Recreation Ground Trust.