Funds to be invested back into communities
Funds raised from new developments in wards with no town or parish council could be pumped back into local communities.
At a meeting of Wakefield Council's Cabinet next week (5 March) senior councillors will be asked to add £319,539.30 of funds raised through the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) to the Capital Programme for Adults, Health and Communities in the 14 wards affected.
If agreed this would enable ward members to spend neighbourhood money raised in their wards on projects that are a priority for the local community, including infrastructure and the development of the local area.
The CIL is a charge per square metre on new developments, which is paid by the developers and landowners. The charges apply to new residential developments, retail warehouses and large supermarkets.
Wakefield Council allocates 25% of the CIL to the neighbourhoods where it is raised – this element is called the Neighbourhood Fund. Currently, if there is no parish or town council in place in the area, the Council will work with the communities to identify opportunities to improve or develop infrastructure.
If the proposal is agreed, with the support of Neighbourhood Coordinators, ward members will be able to identify and propose schemes for funding approval, which will be administered by Communities Service.
Cllr Denise Jeffery, Wakefield Council's Cabinet Member for Economic Growth and Regeneration, said: "We will be discussing how we've been very successful in attracting new developments right across the district and the CIL is essential to help us minimise any negative impact this may have on the local community, as well as enhancing the benefits of the development.
"The new proposal for the Neighbourhood Fund element of the CIL would enable us to make sure the money goes where it is needed the most. It is important that this also applies to our wards where there are no town or parish council."
The report applies to the neighbourhood funds collected between April 2016 and March 2018.
The report will be discussed at Cabinet on 5 March from 10.30am at Wakefield Town Hall. You can watch the meeting live or later at www.wakefield.gov.uk/livestream