More than £21,000 of councillors’ funding has been spent since the elections on a variety of community projects and initiatives across Hartlepool.
Schemes totalling £21,631 have been approved from the ward budgets of Hartlepool’s 33 councillors.
Robust and transparent process to ensure that the expenditure o is for the purpose for which it is intendedDenise Ogden
Each councillor has £4,500 available to them for the year to support local causes.
Successful applications have helped to fund things such as school trips, support residents’ associations, charities’ outings and grassroots sports clubs.
A breakdown of how much has been spent from each councillor’s budget was presented to the latest Neighbourhood Forum groups held by Hartlepool Borough Council.
So far, applications totalling £10,594 have been approved in De Bruce, Hart, Headland and Harbour, Jesmond and Seaton wards.
In the South and Central wards, contributions of £11,037 have been approved this financial year.
It means that out of a total pot of £148,500 just under £134,000 is still available up until next April.
Requests to councillors are subject to rigorous scrutiny by Denise Ogden, the council’s Director of Regeneration and Neighbourhoods in conjunction with the legal and finance departments before being approved or refused.
A report by Ms Ogden stated: “Through the implementation of the application and approval framework, a robust and transparent process has been put in place to ensure that the expenditure of ward member budgets is for the purpose for which it is intended.
“In addition to this, consultation with other ward members, the community, and key partners is required through the application process to guarantee that monies are not used adversely and that projects and/or schemes are responding to local need.”
Among the applications approved include £500 to Hartlepool & District Bowls Club for building insulation, £500 to dance crew Ruff Diamond to enter a championship event and £1,500 towards Rift House Residents’ Association’s funday.
Details on ward member budgets are reported to the neighbourhood forums four times a year.