More financial support available for people affected by floods

flood barrierYork residents and businesses are being reminded that they could receive up to £5,000 to support the resistance and resilience of their property as part of a national package of financial support available.

The Government is providing the funding to enable local authorities to provide grants of up to £5,000 to homeowners and businesses that have been flooded as a result of Storm Desmond and Storm Eva to help fund additional flood resilience or resistance measures for their properties.

The resilience grant will enable those who have been flooded to better prepare their homes for future flood events, both to prevent flood water from entering the property and to speed the recovery if it does.

People who think they may be eligible for a grant needs to register their interest by emailing: or calling 01904 552300.

They will then be sent:

More information about the grants is available at

The update from the Two Ridings foundation, which is allocating the grants from  the York Flood Appeal, has still not appeared on their web site .

The organisation promised that it would be published earlier in the week.


Discussion starts on grant funding of Community Centres in York


The report on how part of the grants for local Community Centres could be reinstated has been published.
Sanderson House community centre

Sanderson House community centre

The centres affected are located in Foxwood, Chapelfields, Bell Farm and Heworth.

A fifth – the Burton Stone Centre – was to have been sold off to a third party operator but this has fallen through. It continues – at least for the moment – to be run by Council employees, but without a volunteer user committee.

The Community Centres running cost grants (which totalled £140,000 in 2013) were stopped last year by the then Labour run Council.

It had been hoped that the new Council, having made £70,000 available to support the centres when it met in July, would allow for the reinstatement of some caretaker roles.

In turn this would have allowed the centres – which otherwise depend entirely on volunteers –  to increase their opening hours.

A report to a meeting taking place next week offers three choices for the use of the funding.  They are:

  1. The Council could retain the £70k budget with no direct grant funding to the voluntary management committees. The budget would be used to maintain the condition of the five premises enabling funds to be directed to those buildings which have the greatest identified repair and maintenance requirements.
  2. The Council could split the £70k equally across the five centres, offering them a £14k direct grant each.
  3. A combination of options A and B to provide some direct grants, whilst retaining some of the budget for the Council to contribute to the repair and maintenance liabilities. A sinking fund would also be established to allow a planned approach to asset replacement.

Option (c) would reinstate only a £4000 a year grant to each of the five centres. See below for details

Foxwood Community Centre propsed grants

The rest would be syphoned off to pay for maintenance work at the buildings which are still owned by the Council.  As landlord the Council would be responsible for these repairs anyway.

There is a suggestion that an “apprentice” be appointed   – at a cost of £10,000 – to monitor the project.

Some people already feel that there has been too much interfering by Council officials in the work of the voluntary committees which work tirelessly to run the centres. Officials seem to want to weigh volunteers down with “service level agreements” and commitments which are simply too onerous for spare time volunteers to feel comfortable with.

We hope that “no strings” grants of at least £20,000 a year can be agreed for each centre. To allow for forward planning they should be guaranteed for the duration of at least the present Council (i.e. until 2019)

A decision on the grants will be taken at a meeting on Thursday, 3rd December, 2015 4.30 pm at West Offices. Residents may make written representations to the meeting and/or may register to attend in person and speak. (Telephone – (01904) 552062 Email

Delay over Community Centre funding plans

One of the key policies of the new coalition Council was the restoration of grants to Council owned Community Centres.
Foxwood Community Centre

Foxwood Community Centre

The centres (Foxwood, Chapelfields, Bell Farm, Heworth and Burton Stone/Clifton) lost their grants under the last Labour administration and there were fears that some would close.

In July the new Council identified £70,000 to help underpin the centres. The voluntary groups currently running the centres have managed to kept them open until now.

The Council had been expected to allocate the total budget to individual centres on 14th September but unexplained delays have dogged the process since then.

Now it appears that the Councils Environment Executive member (Andrew Waller) has been debarred from making the decision which had been scheduled to be taken in November.

Instead Deputy Council Leader Keith Aspden will agree the allocations on 3rd December.

The is still hoped is that enough money will be made available to allow a part time caretaker to be appointed at both the Foxwood and Chapelfields centres.

Grants to apply for Better Play for young people

Community groups are invited to apply to City of York Council’s Better Play Grant, which provides funding to organisations that deliver play opportunities for children and young people in York.

In the new financial year, £87,000 will be shared between projects of between one and three year’s duration, and which address the priorities highlighted in the York Taking Play Forward policy. In the current Community Play programme, four organisations are delivering projects until the end of March 2015.

To qualify, applicants for the 2015-18 funding must be a constituted voluntary organisation, or a community organisation with policies and operating procedures in place which are appropriate for working with children and young people. Successful applicants will also be required to register their organisation on the YorOK Service Directory.

Anyone wishing to talk through a project or idea in more detail before applying can contact Tim Waudby on 01904 553426 email: Mary Bailey 551812 email:
Application forms and guidance can be down loaded from and must be submitted before the deadline of 13 March 2015.

Businesses urged to go for growth with share of £200m fund

A new round of the Government’s Regional Growth Fund has opened for businesses across the country, and firms in York have until 30 September 2014 to bid for a share of the £200 million cash pot.

The fund has already helped over 220 projects get started across the country, creating and safeguarding jobs in a diverse range of industries from life sciences to motor vehicle manufacture.

Small grant allocated to Westfield Ward

The Council has allocated (at a behind closed doors meeting) what it describes as a “credit pot” to “deprived” wards.

The allocations are

Behind closed doors logo

  • Westfield – £4260
  • Clifton – £4241
  • Heworth – £4296
  • Hull Road – £3342
  • Guildhall £2818


The Council says that on 6 March 2012 the Cabinet established a “credits pot” to be allocated only to wards with the highest levels of deprivation to be used in line with the criteria for ward funding, to deliver on the ward priorities.


This decision distributes the pot to the 5 wards in proportion to their population.

The amount compares to the £60,000 made available each year to wards like Westfield when the Liberal Democrats were in control of the York Council.

NB.  Labour are scrapping all financial assistance to local community centres in 2015.

Health Lottery funding – 12th March deadline

Peoples Health Trust

The Peoples Health Trust – which allocates lottery funding – has set a 12th March deadline for organisations seeking grant funding.

Grants will be available of between £5 and £50k (over two years). Applications can be submitted by any type of “not for profit” organisation including CIC’s.  The projects length will between 9 months and two years (minimum 9 months to allow relationships to be formed ‘create stronger social connections between people’)

The project must be designed and run by local people. It must create stronger social connections between people and create a greater sense of general happiness. “It must help make the local community even better”.

For further information about the scheme and to apply visit

Questions or assistance with completing applications can be obtained from Two Ridings Community Foundation 01759 377400