Hampshire councillors could get higher cash grants

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MORE money could be given to county councillors to spend on projects in their local community.

Every county councillor in Havant, Gosport, Fareham, East Hampshire and Winchester districts currently get a grant of £8,000 a year.

This can be spent on causes and projects within their ward area.

But leaders at Hampshire County Council are considering increasing this grant from £8,000 to £10,000.

Members used to get £10,000 a year, but this was reduced in a previous budget cut.

Leaders are now considering also giving each councillor an ‘environment fund’ grant of £10,000 to spend on small-scale improvements in their ward.

A meeting tomorrow will decide whether or not the scheme will be approved.

A report due to go before Councillor Mel Kendal, in charge of environment in Hampshire, says: ‘Members will be all too aware of the local concerns and problems surrounding local highways, transportation and environmental issues.

‘Small but important local issues around roads, pavements, footpaths, traffic calming, bus shelters and maintenance of grass areas and hedgerows are often not fully accommodated within the large prioritised strategic programmes that the county council operates across the whole county.

‘It is therefore proposed to make available the equivalent of £10,000 per member per annum for a Members Environment Fund.’

Increasing the grant from £8,000 to £10,000 would cost £390,000 per year. The new environment fund would cost £780,000 a year.

The scheme would be paid for by cash reserves held by the county council.