Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Big Local lottery meeting tonight

There is a meeting tonight at Brookside Community Centre at 7pm to kick off the £1m Big Local lottery fund.

Please try and find the time to go along to this meeting which will start the process of basically how are we as residents going to spend the £1m lottery grant that we've been given over the next 10 years.

The money is there to be spent on sustainable investment - in this context, sustainable meaning it doesn't need public money year in year out to keep it going.  The most obvious suggestion - and I believe it will be formally proposed tonight - is the establishment of a Community Interest Company (CIC).  CICs are a special type of company that are owned by local communities in much the same way as a co-operative is owned by its members and with a similar ethos in that its main aim is to provide a service to the community and like a co-operative, it makes a profit for the benefit of the community rather than corporate shareholders.

A CIC could run the community centre, offer soft loans to new businesses in Brookside, bring in training providers to help people get jobs, fund community service-type activities, etc.  The good thing is, CICs are likely to endure any number of changes of political groupings at the council or in Westminster because they fit the agenda of all the main political parties - they are similar to a co-operative so that keeps Labour and the Lib Dems happy and it's local people doing something for themselves which keeps the Conservatives and UKIP happy - so we're unlikely to see funding or support for CICs pulled any time soon, unless someone comes up with a better replacement.

So please try and get down to the community centre this evening, get involved and show everyone that Brookside residents really do care about their local community.