From the Town Hall: Making decisions on how money is spent

August 03 2017
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This month the spotlight is on the city council’s chair of the finance committee

IT’S a tough job but someone’s got to do it. Chairing finance meetings and being part of a group of people who decide where the city’s money is distributed is certainly a job open for scrutiny but it is vital. 

At the head of the table is former mayor and local councillor Tony Robbins who alongside the finance officer and other councillors decide on local grants, maintain day to day facilities in Wells like the toilets and map boards, as well as ensuring the city is provided with what it needs to be prosperous.

Some of the income used to provide such facilities comes from the hiring of the town hall for things like weddings, dinner dances and group activities, the rent from properties owned by Wells City Council, the allotments and the cemetery. This income allows them to offer grants for facilities you may not even realise is funded by the local council. The skate park, Citizens Advice Bureau, even items like the street furniture you see all around Wells, this what the finance committee deal with on a weekly basis providing important and often taken-for-granted services in our city. 

If you are a charity, voluntary or community organisation and you feel you do a service for the City of Wells then you will be considered for a small community grant. The process is fairly simple, it can be found on the Wells City Council website but you must be prepared to show how the organisation will benefit the community if you were to receive this grant, also you will be required to present your proposal at a committee meeting. Don’t worry, they aren’t scary people, just people who want the same as you do for the community.

It is important that you are clear about your intentions and you are aware of the correct process to follow. The decision of the committee is final but don’t let that discourage you, sometimes other causes just may have to take priority.

So once a month the committee gather at Wells Town Hall to discuss these issues. Don’t be fooled by the assumption their meetings are something out of Hot Fuzz, it is for the greater good but no one loses a limb.

Those involved are easy to approach, easy to talk to and the office door is not far away. And next time you use one of those grit bins/dog bins or need to use the public toilets, just remember how they got there.