Thursday, 25 April 2019

£6,000 in grants for schools, clubs and community groups

£6,500 in grants for schools, clubs and community groups

SCHOOLS clubs and community groups in the Henley area are set to receive more than £6,000 in funding from the town council.

The council’s finance strategy and management committee has recommended giving £4,566 from its community grants budget to eight applicants and £1,500 to a ninth from other funds.

The committee approved applications for £1,000 to the Berkshire MS Therapy Centre in Reading, which runs a weekly outreach service at Brunner Hall in Greys Road for almost 50 people with multiple sclerosis.

It pays no rent for use of the building but needs money to provide services such as physiotherapy, reflexology and chiropody.

Another £1,000 was awarded to Bishopswood Special School in Sonning Common which has 12 pupils based in Henley.

The money will go towards another accessible summer fun day at Reading Abbey Rugby Club. This year’s event raised more than £1,000 for equipment for the school as well as day trips and activities.

Another £1,000 grant was approved for the Henley Air Cadets, who meet at the Henley drill hall in Friday Street.

The money will go towards five sets of uniform, which the Ministry of Defence will not fund (£375), T-shirts with the squadron logo (£300), sleeping bag liners (£250) and an A3 printer (£105).

The committee agreed to give £500 to the Henley Regatta for the Disabled, which takes place at Phyllis Court Club every September. The event, now in its eighth year, needs money for publicity and legal advice on data protection.

Councillors agreed to allow free use of the town hall by the Friends of Trinity Primary School for a fund-raising dance on February 9 and by the Henley Rotary Club for a bingo night. The hire charges would have been £551 and £275 respectively.

They also waived the £267 charge for use of King’s Arms Barn by the Jeux d’Esprit arts group to stage a show in aid of the Chiltern Centre for disabled children in Henley from November 22 to 25.

The committee awarded nothing to Henley’s Aliquando choir towards a concert at St Mary’s Church to mark the centenary of the Armistice and raise money for the Poppy Appeal.

The choir had requested £1,208.68 for the cost of hiring the church, the Chantry House next door, a piano and organ and staging and lighting.

Councillors said they didn’t want to spend a total of more than £5,000 from the £12,000 in this year’s grants budget and wanted to save money for a new round of applications next year.

Councillor Ian Reissmann said: “I’m not convinced of the need to fund this because, as worthy as it is, it’s going to be successful regardless and I’d rather save the money for something that really needs our support.”

Councillor Stefan Gawrysiak said: “It is a fantastic, high-quality Henley choir and we should be supporting it because it costs a lot of money to put these things on.”

Councillor Julian Brookes said: “I will certainly show my support by attending as it is a very worthwhile event but on this occasion perhaps we shouldn’t be supporting it financially.”

A request for £2,350 by the Chiltern Arts Festival, which is held at various venues in the Chilterns in February, was turned down.

The committee said organisers had failed to say exactly what the money would go towards or how it would benefit Henley specifically.

Committee chairwoman Jane Smewing said: “We do have a policy of funding new festivals to help them get off the ground but there’s no way we should be giving the full amount. It isn’t the best use of our money.”

The Christ Church Centre in Reading Road, Henley, will receive £1,500 towards the running of its weekly Memory Café for more than 100 dementia sufferers and their carers, which began in March.

The money comes from a budget which the council previously allocated to Age UK’s Bluebells dementia club, which folded earlier this year after Oxfordshire County Council pulled its funding.

The recommendations will now be considered by the full council.

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