Your Cash Your Caithness
Local people cast their votes this past weekend on Saturday 19th November 2016 at a Highland Council participatory budgeting event held in the Pulteney Centre in Wick.
Eleven out of the 15 projects bidding for £30,000.00 community funding were successfully voted for by over 130 people who registered to vote on the day.
Applicants were given a 3 minute slot to sell their project with a further 2 minutes allocated to allow any questions from the audience. The event was co-chaired by Caithness Landward Councillors Willie Mackay and Gillian Coghill.
Councillor Mackay said: “Councillor Coghill and I were really pleased and delighted to see so many people turn out to take part in the third “Your Cash, Your Caithness” participatory budgeting event in the Pulteney Centre. We had 15 groups giving presentations to a community audience, who then voted for them on their merits. The event handed out just under £30,000.00 to local good causes.
“We firmly believe handing decision making to the community it is a great way to support community empowerment and helps build community cohesion. This event is an opportunity for Caithness groups to meet new people and find out what is happening locally.
“This process is all about handing decision-making back to the community and its part of our localism agenda, which has seen devolving of further powers from the Highland Council to Caithness.
“But it’s not just an idea cooked up within Highland. The Community Empowerment Act 2015 requires councils and other public bodies to support communities, giving them more influence over what matters to them. It requires the public sector to work in partnership to support the development of local action, helping communities take part in decision-making. We are going to hear a lot more about this partnership working in the coming months.
“Congratulations to the winning teams; we both look forward to seeing how you use the money and our thanks to everyone who made the day such a success.”.
The successful bids voted for by the audience are as follows:
- Wick High School – Digital equipment for parent/child coding club, £2,856.
- Friends of Thor – Trike track at Thor House, Thurso, £3,000.
- Caithness Youth Darts – Portable darts stands and matting, £1,680.
- Samaritans of Caithness – Emotional support group operating costs, £2,000.
- Wick Swimming Club – New diving blocks, £3,000.
- Dunbeath Christmas Lights – purchase of lights, £3,000.
- Caithness Archers – Purchase disabled toilet and construct outdoor range, £3,000.
- Lybster Community Improvement Fund raising Group – refurbishment of main village play park, £3,000.
- Berriedale Portland Hall Committee – Hall refurbishment, £3,000.
- Wick Christmas Lights Committee – ‘Let’s light up Wick’, sleigh project, £3,000.
- Friends of John O’Groats Trail – Way markers and styles for Caithness section of the trail, £1,928.