Each of the 55 councillors across Wealden District will receive a sum of money from waste collectors Kier to spend on projects in their wards.
The money comes from a one-off £110,000 payment by Kier as a penalty for missing or failing to collect rubbish last year. The money can be used for existing schemes or to get new projects started.
Council leader Bob Standley said: “I am pleased that the agreement with Kier will give a welcome boost to smaller projects at parish or neighbourhood level. I was keen that the funding we negotiated with Kier would be used to benefit the community and this is an innovative way of achieving that aim. Each member will identify specific projects in their local wards with their parish and town councils.”
The amount each member will receive will include an allowance for the number of different parishes in their ward. In cases where a number of them represent a ward or a town, they can combine the sums available through the Wealden Community Dividend. The figures add up to just under £7,000 in total for Crowborough and over £6,000 each for Uckfield and Heathfield.
As well as the initial payment, Kier will fund an extra £30,000 over each of the next five years and this will be added to the council’s Community Grant Fund and spent on local projects.
Cllr Standley went on: “The funding outlined is in addition to the saving of £750,000 through the Joint Waste Contract. Many residents have also commented how they have welcomed the new collection system which is also delivering higher recycling rates. A total of £260,000 will make a real difference to local projects.” The Community Dividend will be discussed by Wealden’s Cabinet on January 29.