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Grants worth £2,000 given to Helston charities - but some miss out
7:00am Thursday 3rd October 2013 in News
Grants worth £2,000 have been given to organisations in Helston and the surrounding area by the town council.
Half the money allocated has been shared between the Epworth Hall and the Cornubian Arts and Science Trust (CAST), which both received £500.
CAST wanted funds towards the ongoing restoration of 3 Penrose Road, the town’s former community centre.
Supporting the request councillor Mark Upton said: “The strides that have been made in the reopening of Penrose Road have been tremendous. This is seed money, which will attract other grant funding.”
Mr Upton did not vote on the grant for the Epworth Hall, of which he is chairman, but explained the money would go towards the £4,000 needed for steel decking.
This would be available for community use – such as during the Christmas lights switch on evening – and would be free for stakeholders, with other organisations charged a small fee to cover maintenance and insurance.
Councillor Ronnie Williams believed shows should be put on at the hall to raise the money.
But Mr Upton explained that money from shows went on refurbishment of the hall, with purchasing equipment outside the charity’s remit – hence the need for grants.
“By having these assets the hall’s use has increased,” he said, adding that the actual refurbishment had received “not a penny” from the town council or Cornwall Council.
A suggestion of a £100 grant from Mr Williams found no support, with £500 agreed upon after councillor Martine Knight said 91 per cent of people who responded to the town plan questionnaire had support the upgrading of the hall.
Mayor Jonathan Radford-Gaby revealed he had also given a contribution from the mayor’s fund.
St Michael’s Parish Church Bell Ringers Group was given £200, having earlier heard from tower captain Roger Nott, who said more than £13,000 was needed for work on the bells that had not been renovated for half a century.
“We need to do in some cases urgent repairs and other repairs are generally recommended,” he explained.
The diocesan bell fund had given a grant and fundraising was being carried out by members, but Mr Nott hoped he had the support of the town for which the bells were rung every Sunday, on Flora Day and during civic and royal events.
The vote was split five-five over whether to give a donation to Helston Cricket Club, after Ronnie Williams argued: “I was hoping there would be someone to explain the situation. They had £350 last year. I will not be supporting it on this occasion.”
However, with Mr Radford-Gaby having the casting vote the club received £250, after he said: “There are an awful lot of members of Helston who benefit from this club.”
Gweek Visually Impaired Club received £150, Helston Community Memory Cafe £100 and Active Plus, which supports veterans of war, £200.
Trengrouse Way Association received £100 after being described as a “super organisation.”
Four applicants received no money, including charity CHICKS that gives holidays to deserving young people, Home-Start Kernow and Shelter Cornwall.
Although all were judged to be deserving, it was felt with limited funds available these organisations did not directly benefit as many Helston people as other applicants.
Helston Phoenix Mentoring Project was the final organisation not to receive a grant this time, after members acknowledged that – while doing “very, very good” work – it had already received “an awful lot” of money from other funds in the town this year, including £5,000 in April from the Downsland Trust.
The decision split the council in half, giving Mr Radford-Gaby the casting vote to not support “on this occasion.”
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