Council faces tough choices in tough times – Observer

Observer, our Saturday independent columnist, praises youngsters trying to promote a Parkrun in Uckfield and says the town council faces some tough choices when it comes to grants money.


Uckfield Duke of Edinburgh scheme participants are to be commended for their efforts in setting up a Parkrun.

The idea has swept the country and there is much to like.

Winning idea

Thumbs up to the youngsters for tackling such a worthwhile project which, if all goes well, will be enjoyed by many people and have health benefits too. It will also help the youngsters successfully complete the awards scheme. See the details here

It truly is a win, win situation.

This is just the sort of project, showing what community-minded young people can do, that needs support – including money – from organisations in Uckfield, including the town council.

It will be interesting to see how the town council deals with the request for a grant when councillors meet on Monday (December 3).

Home Start

As well as the Parkrun request, they also have to consider a separate plea for help from HomeStart to help victims of domestic abuse. See details here.

Both applications have fallen outside the town council’s normal grants procedures and timetable for differing reasons.

The applications for financial aid come at a time when the town council’s finances – like all local authorities – are under pressure and when it has virtually allocated all its grants money for 2019/2020.

Uckfield at the top

Councillors will also be acutely aware of where Uckfield stands in the league table of how much people have to pay in council tax when compared with other towns and villages in Wealden district. Check how much we pay and others in Wealden on this page on the district council website.

When it comes to dealing with these two requests, and finding the money, it does not seem fair to re-open the cases of organisations already allocated grants money.

However, there is one issue which the council could well revisit – the decision to allocate around £6,000 next year for cutting the grass verges more frequently than the basic service offered by East Sussex Council Council.

Grass or helping the community?

In an ideal world, we might like the town council to be able to fund the extra cuts of the grass verges and support good causes.

However, the financial world is far from ideal.

Choices have to be made.

With every day that passes, the decision to spend money on grass cutting – which is the county council’s job – seems ill-judged and a luxury we just cannot afford when there are more pressing and urgent matters which need money.

See also:

You can help Uckfield man’s @GalacticKeegan become a book

Holy Cross School recognised for quality of science teaching

Events coming up in the Uckfield area

Find local organisations in our Uckfield Directory

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