Find out more about the results of the 2023 Local Elections for Leighton-Linslade.
Community Grants up to £500
General Grants can be applied for by local community, voluntary and charity groups, with up to £500 per year available per group (£250 for start-ups). General grants are usually intended to fund specific projects to benefit the community, which can be completed within twelve months – for example, the purchase of equipment, training of volunteers, marketing activity or subsidising a trip or visit. For 2023-24, in recognition of the difficulties facing the sector as a result of the pandemic and cost of living crisis, groups may also apply for funding towards general operating (revenue) costs or to fund annual costs such as insurance.
Organisations related to the arts should apply direct to the Leighton-Linslade Arts Forum and sports related organisations should apply direct to the Leighton-Linslade and District Sports Council. Both umbrella organisations receive annual funding from the Town Council to then distribute grants themselves to local groups.
Applications for the first round of 2023-24 are now CLOSED. There will be a 2nd round of applications later this year.
During 2022-23, the Council was delighted to support 21 community groups with general grant funding, including: Reclaim Life, several Girlguiding groups, Womens Institute, NCT, Buzzcycles, CHUMS Charity, the Friends of Tiddenfoot Waterside Park, two lower school PTAs and two start-up groups including Walk & Talk for Mens’ Mental Health.
For any informal groups looking for help to adopt a more formal structure and therefore be able to apply for grant funding, please contact Community Voluntary Service Bedfordshire: https://www.cvsbeds.org.uk/
Leighton-Linslade Arts Forum
Leighton Linslade Arts Forum on behalf of Leighton Linslade Town Council are pleased to advise that we invite applications for grants from local Arts based organisations. Applications must be received by no later than 1st July 2023. There will be a second opportunity with a closing date of 1st October 2023 if the timing is not quite right for your organisation at the present time.
Your organisation could be eligible for a grant of up to £500 for a specific project if it meets the required criteria (see application form for details).
Organisations that have benefitted from grants during recent years include Leighton Buzzard Drama Group, St Barnabus Church, Leighton Buzzard Music, Leighton Buzzard Art Society, Musical Theatre High, Brooklands Academy, Leighton Linslade Concert Band, Linslade Singers, Leighton Buzzard Festival Singers. Leighton Film Festival, Spectrum Community Arts and many more
Find out more by visiting the Leighton-Linslade Arts Forum website.
Cost of Living Grants
At its meeting held on 10 October, Leighton-Linslade Town agreed to allocate an additional £10,000 in grant funding in response to the current cost of living crisis. These additional “cost of living” grants were intended to help organisations providing additional support during the winter, for example provision of warm spaces.
Six grants were awarded, to: All Saints Church, Freddie and Friends CIC, the Church of the Good Shepherd, the Leighton-Linslade Helpers, the Challenging Behaviour Foundation and the St Vincent de Paul charity.
Reports on the cost of living grants are expected in April 2023, to be reviewed by committee in May 2023.
Guaranteed Grants for amounts over £500 per year are available for a four-year period. Twelve local organisations received this funding for the four year period 2016-2020, enabling the continued provision of events and services in and around the town.
In May 2020, new applications for the four-year period 2020-2024 were considered by committee. Funding was approved for 15 local organisations providing a range of services to residents. The applicants and projects being funded can be seen at the link below.
The Council is also proud to have in place long-term funding agreements with Citizens Advice Leighton-Linslade and the Leighton Buzzard Music Centre.
CALL provides free, impartial, independent advice on a range of subjects to residents in and around Leighton-Linslade.
The Leighton-Linslade Music Centre runs on a Saturday morning from Vandyke Upper School and offers a range of sessions to existing musicians as well as complete beginners of all ages, including a session for those with additional needs. The Centre is run by Inspiring Music at Central Bedfordshire Council.
Community Volunteer Awards scheme
At the town’s Civic Service held at All Saints Church on 26 February 2023, Town Mayor Councillor Farzana Kharawala presented the 2023 Community Volunteer Awards to two very deserving recipients: Ian Summerfield and Anne Guess.
Both award recipients were nominated by a fellow resident for having undertaken more than five years of voluntary service to the benefit of the town.
Anne Guess has been the Treasurer and a Committee member for Leighton-Linslade Carnival for a number of years, as well as being Treasurer and Committee member for a number of other groups in the community including Scouts, Friends of Tiddenfoot Waterside Park and the Leighton Linslade Music Centre. Anne has also been a town and district Councillor, a Governor at a local Lower School, a leading member of the Town Twinning Forum and has been involved in the Walking for Health initiative.
Ian Summerfield is another resident with a long history of volunteering to benefit others, with roles in Scouting, the Leighton Buzzard Rugby Football Club, the Multiple Sclerosis (“MS”) Society, the Rotary Club of Leighton-Linslade and as a Governor at Oak Bank Academy. He also spent time as a Trustee of the Chiltern MS Centre in Wendover, which serves the Leighton-Linslade community and which has developed into a cutting edge facility.
You can view a recording of the Civic Service on the All Saints YouTube Channel.
The Council will be welcoming nominations for the 2024 awards between June – October
The Town Council established a scheme in 2007 to recognise the voluntary efforts of up to three individuals per year who have served a wide sector of the community. Recipients awarded the title of “Honorary Burgess of Leighton-Linslade” receive an engraved badge and a scroll at a presentation ceremony as well as having their names added to a board in the Council Chamber at the White House.
At a meeting of Leighton-Linslade Town Council held on 27 January 2020, it was unanimously agreed to present the 2020 Honorary Burgess award to Mary Cheshire and John Halstead. Mary was nominated for her work litter picking along the river in all weathers and John was nominated for his many years as a local school governor, his involvement in the Town Twinning Forum and his years as a member of the Rotary Club of Leighton-Linslade. The awards were presented by Town Mayor Councillor David Bowater at the well attended annual Civic Service, which took place at All Saints Church on Sunday, 23 February 2020.
The 2020 awards mean that a total of 28 “unsung heroes” have received the Honorary Burgess award since its inception. All recipients have undertaken at least 5 years of voluntary service to the benefit of our town – and in many cases, significantly longer. However, a change in legislation regarding parish council powers in recent years means that 2020 will be the final year of the Honorary Burgess award in its current form. The same legislation permitted the Town Council to award its first ever Honorary Freeman award to Mr Walter (Wally) Randall in November 2019. The Honorary Freeman is now the only civic award the Town Council is empowered to give.
Leighton-Linslade Town Council voted unanimously at an extraordinary meeting held on Monday, 14 October 2019 to confer the title of Honorary Freeman of the parish on Mr Walter (Wally) Randall.
Mr Randall is the first ever resident of the town to be given this title, which was presented by Town Mayor Councillor David Bowater after the annual Remembrance Day Parade on Sunday, 10 November 2019.
The suggestion to confer the title on Mr Randall was made in recognition of his years of voluntary service to the community. On being told of the honour, Mr Randall said “I am delighted and honoured to be receiving this title from the Town Council”.
Read more about the Honorary Freeman presentation.