South Hams Community Service Grants

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The Ring and Ride service will need to provide a few more details (image courtesy of Newton Abbot Community Transport)

But some will have to provide more evidence

A local transport service, seen as a lifeline for many in and around South Hams, has been promised support to help it secure funding from the South Hams District Council (SHDC).

Newton Abbot Community Transport has been helping local residents get around since 1991 and offers a ring-&-ride service in Totnes, Dartmouth and surrounding areas.

But as part of the three-year review, the SHDC executive says it does not have enough information from the service to ensure its continued funding.

The issue was discussed at an executive meeting last week as members proposed plans to increase funding for some projects in the region.

Advisors agreed to extend funding for two years to the following organizations:

  • SW Museum Development Trust, £4,000
  • Ivybridge Ring and Ride, £5,710
  • South Hams Community and Voluntary Service (CVS) £10,000.

Executive members have agreed to provide additional funding for the following:

  • Citizens Advice South Hams, £70,867 (an increase of £10,000 per year.
  • South Devon Area of ​​Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), £28,749 (an increase of £8,000 per year which is subject to certain conditions).

Making the case for the increased funding, Woolwell Conservative adviser Nicky Hopwood said: ‘South Hams Citizens Advice has played a key role in helping South Hams residents, both during the pandemic and now the cost of living crisis; giving important advice and guidance to those in need.

“In recognition of this, I recommend that the grant be increased by £10,000 per year to a total of £70,867. Health and wellbeing is a key part of the Better Lives for All strategy and Citizens Advice plays a key role in its implementation.

But Cllr Hopwood insisted they did not want to withdraw funding from Newton Abbot Community Transport, but hoped to get a more detailed offer from the organization so they could give them more money.

“There isn’t a single part of the recommendation that closes the door on this application,” Cllr Hopwood said. “But the information required was not sufficient to recommend approval at this time.

“Agents will continue to work with this organization to understand how they are helping South Hams residents and any updates may still be considered before the 2023/24 budget is finalised.

“Indeed it would be bad practice to give money without the right level of information being provided and it is up to each candidate to ensure they provide what this advice needs to enable us to take an informed decision.

“I look forward to our officers working closely with Newton Abbot Ring-and-Ride to reach a mutually satisfactory conclusion.”

Cllr Hopwood added that a meeting had been arranged between council officers and the transport department and it was hoped a resolution could be reached.

Every three years, the SHDC reviews the money it grants to the main local partners. This is to ensure that the money is spent wisely and according to the terms of their agreement.

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