New Homes Bonus now up for grabs for local groups


Cheshire East Council has set aside £2m over the next two years of its New Homes Bonus, which is a grant paid by Central Government to local authorities to reflect and incentivise housing growth within their areas to help address local priorities.

The figure for our area (which includes Wilmslow, Alderley Edge & Handforth) is £173,462 over the two years.

On Monday, 22nd October, the eight Cheshire East Councillors who represent Wilmslow, Alderley Edge and Handforth (Cllrs Gary Barton, Ellie Brooks, Craig Browne, Barry Burkhill, Toni Fox, Dennis Mahon, Rod Menlove and Don Stockton) met to discuss and agree the broad priorities for our area.

Each application for funding will be expected to address at least one of these, which are:

  • physical health & wellbeing
  • mental health & anxiety
  • social isolation & independent living

The group will meet again in January to consider any applications that have been received. In order to demonstrate the group's non-political intentions, it was decided that there should be two co-chairmen, who will chair alternate meetings. The first meeting was chaired by Cllr Rod Menlove (Conservative) and the next meeting will be chaired by Cllr Craig Browne (Independent).

Cllr Rod Menlove commented "The top priorities are intentionally broad for our combined area, to encourage as many organisations as possible to apply. Full application information will be on the CEC website by the end of next week, but in the meantime interested groups can email their relevant CEC Ward Councillor who will forward the details."

Cllr Craig Browne added "the deadline for applications is tight, being 31st December; however, I'm sure that there are many local groups who are already delivering against the priorities we have agreed and who would benefit from the extra funding. The grants we will be awarding are for £10,000 or more and the good news is that they can cover both capital costs and running costs."

For community, voluntary or faith sector organisations, free advice and support in preparing an application to the New Homes Bonus is available through your local CVS (Council for Voluntary Service) - to access this support, send an email to

The potential project areas within each of the top priorities are as follows:

Physical Health & Wellbeing

  • improving/developing parks, play areas, green spaces and leisure facilities
  • projects to encourage active lifestyles
  • improving and promoting use of walking and cycling routes
  • Environmental improvements eg clearing and weeding pathways, planting schemes

Mental Health & Anxiety

  • anxiety in young people
  • cyber access for all and raising awareness of use and abuse
  • mental health support
  • developing dementia friendly communities and dementia support

Social Isolation and Independent Living

  • projects to reduce social isolation in all ages and including vulnerable individuals
  • digital inclusion
  • community transport schemes
  • care in the community
  • community integration projects
  • improving access to local services and facilities
New Homes Bonus


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

Alan Brough
Friday 26th October 2018 at 2:35 pm
All of the "potential project areas" listed above are things that should already be funded by either local or national government.

So CE Council have reluctantly agreed to give us a tiny part of the money due to us from the NHB pot, as long as we agree to spend it on something that they should be funding anyway?

Oh, and by the way, your council tax is going up a further 3% next year bringing the cumulative increase over the past 3 years to 14.75%

A bit of further perspective.....the £173,462 available to the good folk of Wilmslow, Alderley Edge and Handforth (over the next two years) wouldn't be enough to pay the "Garden Leave" of just one of the senior CE Executives languishing at home on full pay awaiting the outcome of the enquiry into his / her wrong-doing.
Pete Taylor
Saturday 27th October 2018 at 8:36 am
Surely a public consultation has to take place first to chose the key priorities, as per CEC guidance? When did that happen?

We seem to be being rail-roaded into only considering the (rather nebulous- google them!) Bollin Partnership “priorities”at this moment.

Under the CEC examples of priorities is expenditure on minor traffic management. I would suggest that yellow lines on Alderley Road might be higher on many residents list of priorities than some of the other suggestions.
Manuel Golding
Monday 29th October 2018 at 5:11 pm
IF it wasn't for the painstaking in-depth research by Residents of
Wilmslow's WTC Cllr Mark Goldsmith and the RoW group in general, who first
alerted the Cheshire East Leader that RoW was fully aware of this pot of
money, no one would be any the wiser across the Borough. Or maybe certain
councillors chose to keep quiet knowing that CEC would attempt to use the
NHB money to fill its budget hole, as one local CEC councillor is reported
to have intimated It is suspected this would have be the case but for the
persistence of RoW and its councillors, Toni Fox, Mark Goldsmith & David
Jefferay, lobbying for the NHB be made available for the benefit of all the
Borough's local communities..As far as CE was concerned, it was definitely a
case of NHB being No Holds Barred when it came to these monies. It
ill-beholds the other councillors mentioned on the above article that they
made a very political point by not acknowledging the vital, instrumental
part RoW has played in ensuring some of the money will be for the intended
purpose, whilst certain others are attempting to play "the" vital role in
distributing the largess. Meanwhile out of a £35 million pot of money ONLY
£2 million is being forwarded for the Borough's areas. Where is the £33
million? Why has none of this been made available in the intended fashion?
Maybe CEC is attempting to shore up the holes in its budget on the quiet. If
so, why does it dare not tell us?
Martin Lewis
Thursday 1st November 2018 at 8:23 am
Well done Residents of Wilmslow and in particular the trio of independent councillors who are clearly working hard for people of Wilmslow rather than the unworthy political party protagonists in Sandbach.
Roll on the May 2019 elections when we have the opportunity to vote for more independent (RoW) voices on our council!
John Duckworth
Thursday 1st November 2018 at 6:33 pm
I agree with Manuel Golding - Cheshire East should be more transparent in informing people of Wilmslow where the money is being distributed, good projects are only good if full democratic process is being followed.

When voting for a political party at General Elections this is a system that works - when it doesn't work is when you vote for a political party in the local elections this should be none political as local councillors representing political party follow the part line.

I believe RoW (Residents of Wilmslow) are not political and truly represent the people of Wilmslow whatever your political choice is.

I will be giving much thought to voting for RoW at the next local elections - I cant vote for them at the General Elections as they are none political, but will vote for the party I think is best for our country.
Pete Taylor
Wednesday 14th November 2018 at 10:54 pm
Any update on how these “key priorities” were chosen and who was involved?