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Craven Recycled Furniture Store denied grant to take over bulky waste service
8:00am Thursday 24th January 2013 in News
A grant application of £57,000 for a Skipton volunteer group to take over Craven’s bulky waste service has been turned down.
Craven District Council’s community grants sub-committee has decided not to support Craven Recycled Furniture Store with two thirds of its Localism Reserve Fund.
But members agreed it was a worthwhile project and should be given support when it was discussed by the council’s policy committee later in the year.
Councillors were told by Paul English, the group’s treasurer, that it had been courted by council officers with a view to taking on the scheme.
The money would have enabled the group, based at the Sidings Business Park, to run the service over a three year period, including the buying of an additional vehicle.
“If we take on this service, there will be massive efficiencies for the council,” said Mr English, who is also a Liberal Democrat councillor.
Paul Ellis, director of services, confirmed that discussions had taken place with the group and the matter was due to go to policy committee in March or April.
“This council is having discussions with the furniture scheme about taking on the bulky waste service, but that is a matter that councillors will have to consider and needs to be divorced from this process,” he told last Tuesday’s meeting.
It was also pointed out that it might be the case that the service would have to go out to tender to other companies before a decision was made.
The application also fell down because the group was unable to provide a business plan, although Mr English pointed out it was a new scheme so no business plan existed.
“Basically, the business plan is someone has an old bed, they ring us up, and we take it away,” he said. “Until we got a green light, it did not seem feasible to do all the additional work for it to be thrown out.”
Committee chairman Coun Simon Myers (Cons) said if the furniture store was given the service there should be other council funds available to make it work.
“I have every sympathy with this and would like to see this happen, I will support this when it comes to policy, but under the guidelines of the Localism Fund, we can’t give two thirds of our funds to this project which at the moment is already provided,” he said.
He pointed out there were other projects that needed funding that currently did not exist, such as a sports pavilion in Burton-in-Lonsdale.
The Localism Fund was set up with money received through the New Homes Bonus and guidelines have been set for successful applications. The fund currently stands at £95,000 but there is no guarantee there will be more cash next year.