Citizens of Cumbernauld are being given a unique opportunity to decide which local community project proposals receive small grant funding through an online Community Voting Survey made live today.
The Survey, which can be accessed by clicking here, will determine which of 15 Cumbernauld-based voluntary sector organisations receive between £300 and £500 to deliver specified community projects to benefit the Cumbernauld area.
This activity forms part of Cumbernauld CAN (Community Anchor Network), a new Scottish Government-supported project introduced by Cornerstone House Centre in 2020 which aims to develop the connected capacity of the Cumbernauld community. Over a three-year period, the project will strive to enable Cumbernauld residents and organisations to work together to become better at responding to local needs, built on the theme of community empowerment.
A key element of the programme involves initiating Participatory Budgeting (PB) opportunities for local groups and citizens. Participatory Budgeting is a process where ordinary people are given power to democratically and collectively make key decisions on how public funding is spent. Mary McNeil, Development Manager at Cornerstone House Centre, commented:
“The Community Voting Survey launched today is to facilitate community-led allocation of Small Grants PB Fund Round 1, a small grants programme which was announced as part of Cumbernauld CAN in February 2020.
“Those living in Cumbernauld and others with an interest in the wider Cumbernauld community are asked to participate in the online Survey, which will take no longer than 5-10 minutes to complete. Respondents are invited to select the three proposals they believe to be most worthy of being funded.
“The proposals that can be voted for have been put forward by 1st Condorrat Girls’ Brigade, CACE Older People Active Lives, Cumbernauld and District Kinship Carers Group, Cumbernauld Junior Netball Club, Cumbernauld Poverty Action, Friends of Cumbernauld Care Home, Glow Gang, Northern Corridor Community Volunteers, Parkrun Cumbernauld, PALS (Play and Learning Support), SBH (Spina Bifida Hydrocephalus) Scotland, Tool Library Cumbernauld, Tryst Lions Wrestling Club Cumbernauld, Watch Us Grow and Westfield Lunch Club.
“It is anticipated that funding will be awarded to around half of all proposals (the most-voted-for ones), with the exact number of organisations receiving grants depending on the monetary value of the top ranked proposals.
“If you have missed out an applying for funding through Small Grants PB Fund Round 1, the good news is that plans are afoot for Cornerstone House Centre to release further PB funding rounds as 2020 progresses.”
Through Small Grants PB Fund Round 1, community-led voluntary groups benefiting Cumbernauld were invited to bid for a small grant of between £50 and £500 under the PB model. This was open to charities, SCIOs, unincorporated associations and any other not-for-profit group.
It had originally been intended that funding allocation would be decided through a Community Voting Event scheduled for Tuesday 24 March 2020, however this was postponed following UK Government advice in the light of coronavirus (COVID-19) developments.
With coronavirus restrictions likely to last an extended period, an online Community Voting Survey was considered as a fair alternative way for members of the public to have the opportunity to cast their vote, also ensuring that applicant organisations do not have to wait many more months for a decision.
It is recognised that moving to an online Community Voting process does have some drawbacks, with some local people potentially not able to access the Internet at this time of mass public lockdown. If you are aware of anyone who would like to cast their vote but does not have computer or Internet access, please contact Cornerstone House Centre and a telephone or postal Survey response can be organised.
The deadline for submission of the online Community Voting Survey is Friday 17 April 2020 at 12noon. It is planned that Survey results will be publicly made available shortly after the closing date, with funds to be distributed to successful applicant organisations by Thursday 30 April 2020.
Due to the present restrictions imposed by UK Government, Cornerstone House Centre’s building will be closed most of the time until further notice. The organisation continues to operate remotely however, and if you would like further information or have an enquiry in relation to the Community Voting process or Cumbernauld CAN project, please email Cornerstone House Centre at firstname.lastname@example.org.