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Two types of grants are available from the Town Council, with awards ranging from £250 upwards.
General Grants can be used for specific projects to benefit the community, which can be completed within twelve months. General grants are up to a maximum of £500 (£250 for start-up organisations). General grant applications are considered twice per year, in April/May and in November. The types of projects to be funded could include purchase of equipment, training of volunteers, marketing activity or subsidising a trip or visit.
Guaranteed Grants for amounts over £500 per year are available for a four-year period. Applications for the four-year period 2016-2020 were reviewed and approved by the Council in 2016. Twelve local organisations currently benefit from this funding, enabling the continued provision of events and services in and around the town.
We are now inviting applications for both General Grants for 2020-21 and Guaranteed Grants for the four-year period 2020-2024. The deadline for applications for both schemes will be Friday, 24 April 2020.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the scheduled meeting of the Grants & Awards Sub-Committee on Monday, 11 May 2020 will no longer take place, but the Council has put other measures in place in order to evaluate and approve grant applications.
For those affected by the current situation, please note that it is likely that a further round of grant applications will be opened later in the year.
The Town Council’s Grants & Awards Sub-Committee met twice during 2019 and approved General Grants totalling £10,000 for local organisations to undertake specific projects of benefit to the local community. Projects included: planting of trees, provision of equipment and activity days for those with additional needs, communications training, health and wellbeing activities, equipment for a scout group and support for a weekly lunch club for the homeless.
The Sub-Committee also awarded grant funding totalling £26,300 for 12 local organisations as part of the ongoing Guaranteed Grants Scheme. These monies are designed to help support local organisations and charities including Buzzer Bus, Macmillan Cancer Care, Home-Start, Voluntary and Community Action South Bedfordshire, Leighton-Linslade Sports Council and others.
Beyond this, the Town Council is proud to support Leighton-Linslade Citizens Advice and Leighton-Linslade Music Centre with grant funding to allow them to maintain their services to the local community.
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.
Launching in 2020 will be the Leighton-Linslade Community Volunteer Awards, with the first awards to be presented in early 2021.
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 here.
Launching later this year will be a new scheme to continue to recognise and celebrate those who give their time so generously to benefit our town. We will be inviting nominations for the Leighton-Linslade Community Volunteer Awards later this year, with the first awards set to take place in early 2021.
Watch this space for updates coming soon!