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Henry Smith MP: Find out how community groups & charities can win £20,000

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My thanks to the People’s Postcode Lottery who recently contacted me to advise of three ways local community groups and charities can win a grant of up to £20,000 this year.

With a deadline of 28th February 2018, all groups have to do for now is provide an expression of interest in funding, which consists of outlining details about their organisation and information on their proposed project.

I’m not alone in often being struck by the amazing work of Crawley’s charities and community groups which serve local residents, and have no doubt that for many this additional funding would be most welcome.

There are three charitable trusts which are offering this funding support. The People’s Postcode Trust is open for initiatives to tackle poverty and support human rights; the Postcode Local Trust focuses on community gardens, wildlife and green energy projects; while the Postcode Community Trust looks at grassroots sport and recreation activities.

Last year these three trusts provided more than £8.2 million of funding support. Players of People’s Postcode Lottery have raised more than £263 million to date for over 4,000 good causes across Great Britain and internationally.

It would be great to see projects in Crawley receive a share of this support – good luck!

Henry Smith MP

Crawley Constituency

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Charity

‘Springboard are not closing because we were increasing the rent’ says Leader of Crawley Council

Reports that the charity will have to close their Langley Green site because of rent increase are just not true says Councillor Peter Lamb.

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[Image: Google Maps]

In response to the claims that the charity Springboard would have to close their Langley Green site due to a rent increase by Crawley Borough Council, Leader the Council Peter Lamb has written publicly to address the issue.

Posting on his own blog he says:

“I’m aware that a number of mistruths are being circulated around about this, so in the interests of fairness I thought you might like a true account of events.

When Springboard opened they decided to take on a commercial property at a commercial rent.

“I agreed to look at freezing the rent and guaranteeing the council’s grant funding for a number of years”

At this time all the risks were highlighted to them, but they decided to take on the property nonetheless and various public sector organisations provided grant funding to help set the property up and pay for some of the running costs.

Last year I met with the new chief executive of the charity who flagged up that they were in financial difficulties, that he understood the circumstances under which the charity had taken on the property but they were struggling.

At the time I agreed to look at freezing the rent and guaranteeing the council’s grant funding for a number of years and I was given to understand that that might be enough to ensure the charity’s presence in the town. I looked into it and reported back that we could commit to such an arrangement.

“It is very sad that the charity is closing but it is not though any unreasonable behaviour on the council’s part

When I met with the chief executive again in February I was informed that the charity’s financial position had worsened and that freezing the rent and guaranteeing the grant would not be enough for the charity to be able to maintain its presence in Crawley.

I said that we weren’t in a position to commit to the tens of thousands of pounds in additional funding which were requested, but that we’d be willing to form part of a solution alongside WSCC and the CCG who have legal responsibility for the groups Springboard works with.

For some reason this was not seen to be seen as an acceptable solution and I did not hear anything further until I was informed Springboard were closing.

Springboard are not closing because we were increasing the rent (despite their signing up to that contract), nor because of any cuts to their grant funding by CBC but because their financial position worsened due to the loss of a major donor and Crawley Borough Council were not in a place to make up the gap without the support of the two organisations legally responsible for Springboard’s client group.

It is very sad that the charity is closing but it is not though any unreasonable behaviour on the council’s part, particularly when you consider we were the only organisation which expressed a willingness to help despite having no formal remit to do with Springboard’s work.”

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