The Bickerstaffe Record

Breaking News, Cotterill on the Council

That grant application again

01.25.11 | Comment?

While I’m in a blogposting frenzy, here’s the press release related to this post. I don’t post all my press release – not sure why, I really should.

Press release – Learning and Innovation Fund

The leader of the Labour group on West Lancashire Borough Council has condemned the ruling Conservative administration for its refusal to engage over a grant application for funds to improve the Council’s engagement with residents over its budget process.

Paul said:

“Two years ago, before I became leader of the Labour group, I submitted an application to the elected members’ Learning and Innovation Fund for £4,500 to help councillors develop ‘participatory budgeting’ techniques, which have been used by Councils under different political control all across the country. £1,000 was to be spent on a bursary for a postgraduate student to cover the action-research project for a thesis, while the rest was to cover the costs of bringing in participatory budgeting experts and room hire etc. The application was successful, and I looked forward to working with councillors across the two groups to get the project up and running. Sadly, the administration declined to accept the grant on my behalf.’

In December 2010, the Learning and Innovation Fund opened for applications again, and I sent an updated bid to the administration for their review before submission. Based on the previous approval, I was confident it would again be successful. I gave the necessary assurance that no Council officer time would be required, as this would be a project run by councillors.

This time around, the administration refused even to consider the application. The leader of the Council would not even look at the bid, while the Chief Executive simply told me the Council had other priorities.

The administration is, quite simply, not interested in hearing what the citizens of West Lancashire have to say. That was clear enough when the it refused to meet with interested residents as part of its so-called consultation on concessionary travel. Now, it’s even clearer.”

Note to editors:

Fuller coverage is here.

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