Grants totalling more than £36,000 have been allocated to local charities and good causes by Uckfield Town Council.
Sums range from £18,000 for the Citzens’ Advice Bureau (CAB) to £210 to the Uckfield branch of the Royal British Legion.
All grants are provisional and are subject to the agreement of the town council’s general purposes committee.
The money was distributed by the council’s finance sub committee.
The chairman, Cllr Paul Sparks, Liberal Democrat, Uckfield North, said the councillors again faced a difficult task because the grants budget (excluding that for the CAB, which comes from a different pot) was £18,950 while the applications totalled more than £25,000.
Citizens’ Advice Bureau
A CAB representative told the meeting the bureau’s workload was growing with a 20 per cent increase in Uckfield.
Uckfield Festival and Uckfield Bonfire and Carnival were each awarded £3,240.
Field First Responders, who cover the town and immediate surrounding villages, were given £3,000 to allow for it to expand the service and recruit and equip more volunteer responders with modern defibrillators. See our earlier story about the work of the Field First Responders.
Other awards were:
- Uckfield FM £2,500
- Uckfield Performance Ensemble £1,750
- Uckfield Foodbank £1,560
- Active Uckfield £1,000
- Uckfield Theatre Guild £500
- Sky High Trampoline and DMT Club £500
- Uckfield and District Twinning Association £450
- Age Concern £450
- East Sussex Association for the Blind (Uckfield) £300
- Samaritans £250
Many of the applicants gave the committee a brief resume of their work and an indication of how any grant might be spent.
Uckfield FM said the grant would be used for a new server, to provide back-up required by the regulator, Ofcom, and for replacement of ageing computers.
The twinning association will continue to develop links with Quickborn (Germany) and Arques, near Dieppe, France, including promoting professional links after a successful visit to Uckfield by French firefighters.
Active Uckfield plans to stage more “sport for all” events to try and reach young adults and older people.
Singing in the Rain
The theatre guild, where half the membership is under 18, is planning to stage Singing in the Rain next year.
The grant to the foodbank will meet the annual rent on its distribution centre.
Ian Noble told the councillors the foodbank last year fed around 600 people, including 218 children.
“Without our help they would simply go hungry,” he said.
The Royal British Legion will use its grant to pay for the hire of the Ashdown Room at the Civic Centre on three Saturdays for the Poppy Appeal.
Sky High Trampoline will buy equipment to help disabled people safely access the trampolines.
The performance ensemble asked for a grant to help it cope with an increase in membership.
Both Age Concern and the Samaritans (Tunbridge Wells and district) said their workload was increasing.
As previously stated, the grants must be approved by the council’s general purposes committee.
Members of the finance committee present:
Chairman, Cllr Paul Sparks, Liberal Democrat, Uckfield North
Vice-chairman, Cllr Chris Macve, Trust Independent, Uckfield North
Cllr Paul Meakin, Liberal Democrat, Uckfield Central
Cllr Diane Ward, Trust Independent, Uckfield Central
Cllr Jacqueline Beckford, Independent, Uckfield Ridgewood
• Town councillors are involved in many aspects of town life and have close connections with a number of organisations. Interests were declared at the start of the meeting with a note as to where the town clerk had granted special dispensation for committee members to take part in proceedings where they had declared an interest. Cllr Sparks stood down as chairman for discussion of the grant to the festival association and left the room during the discussion. His wife, Dorothy, is the chairman of the festival association.