Wilmslow to receive £173,000 New Homes Bonus for community projects


Cheshire East Council's cabinet has approved a scheme to provide funding to assist communities where new housing developments have been built.

The new homes bonus community fund, which provides a total of £2m up to 2020, will give local communities an opportunity to present their ideas for projects to ward members and town and parish councils for consideration. The best ideas will go to Cheshire East Council for approval, which could be almost anything from a youth scheme to a highways project or community hub.
The minimum grant figure to be awarded for these projects is £10,000. The project cost has been pitched at that amount to try and ensure that the programmes of work approved will be of sufficiently significant prominence and ensure sustainability.

The fund will be split across the borough based on two elements: an annual fixed allocation of £350,000; and a variable allocation based on the net increase in homes, within each Fund Area, using data for the period October 2010 to October 2017.

The Council has decided to group the parishes according to the Area Highway Groups and allocate £50,000 to each of the seven areas. The annual Variable Allocation is £650,000 which will be split between each fund area based on net housing completions.

As a result Wilmslow is set to receive £86,731 in each of 2018/19 and 2019/20, with the local ward councillors deciding how the pot of money is spent and what the community priorities are.

Councillor Paul Bates, Cheshire East Council cabinet member for finance and communications, said: "The idea of the new homes bonus is to allow any groups and communities, that are affected by new housing developments, to come forward and tell the council what projects can make a positive difference to their local communities.

"These projects need to be ambitious and must be sustainable projects that will have a significant positive impact on people living immediately in the areas where the developments have been built.

"It's a very positive scheme, as it allows those that understand the areas where the projects will be undertaken to tell us what support could be provided. I'm looking forward to seeing what plans are put forward that can benefit from this first round of funding."

Funding released under this scheme will be subject to clear protocols to ensure outcomes are achieved. The council has undertaken a review of grant payments and a corporate grants policy will be considered by cabinet next month.

Details of how to apply for a new homes bonus will be published soon.

New Homes Bonus


Here's what readers have had to say so far. Why not add your thoughts below.

Mark Goldsmith
Wednesday 13th June 2018 at 6:56 pm
Funny that Councillor Paul Bates finally understands what the New Homes Bonus (NHB) is for, although he still decides to steal £millions of it from Wilmslow.

This year, Wilmslow will generate £1,365,000 in NHB and has already generated £3.4m to date. All of which apart from this £86k, Cheshire East will keep. By rights it is the towns money, but Cheshire East gets it first, so we see nothing. Presumably it all helps to pay their staffs gardening leave bill as their senior management get investigated by the police.

As an independent councillor, I challenged why this was happening soon after being elected in August 2016. Along with my Residents of Wilmslow colleagues, we lobbied for this money to come to our town as it rightly should. It was only our efforts that forced Cheshire East into this action, although we have only got a small % of the money due. However, at least it is something for our community and we will continue to press for more.

It does highlight Cheshire Easts contempt for Wilmslow though and how they just see us as a cash cow, always to be milked. It also shows the benefit our town gets from its few independent councillors who are not scared to challenge the towns cosy Conservative cartel.

Hopefully though, I will be joined by many more fellow independents come next May, so we can continue to push Cheshire East to give our town a fair deal.

Cllr Mark Goldsmith, Wilmslow Town Council for Residents of Wilmslow
Manuel Golding
Friday 15th June 2018 at 11:45 pm
Thanks to Councillor Mark Goldsmith (RoW councillor) for being the first person to raise the issue of CECs missing NHB funding.
Residents of Wilmslow was left with the impression, when we first asked the question of the NHB, that if Mark and RoW hadn't asked the fund may well have been quietly hidden away from all in the borough. We certainly got the impression that out question came as a surprise as no one else had enquired.
The result of RoWs lobbying is that a small percentage is being offered to the borough's towns but certainly not the whole fund. Somehow the bulk has been diverted into other areas under CECs domain.
As Cllr Goldsmith rightly declares above, this money is just one element of the benefit of having RoW independent councillors on both CEC and Wilmslow TC - we fight for our
constituents and for Wilmslow, putting voters before party.
Do come and join us.