X marks the spot for extra Amersham community cash

Residentsin the Amersham area will get an extra vote this year – but not to elect politicians. Their votes will decide whichcommunity projects they want funded.

Buckinghamshire County Council’s Amersham Local Area Forum (LAF) has £10,000 in its local priorities fund, and is inviting residents to cast their votes to say how theywant some of their council tax spent.

The ‘Amersham Decides’ ballot will launch on May 26, but before it does, the LAF needs six projects to put to residents’ votes. So from Tuesday March 17 it is inviting local community groups to submit project bids.

Martin Phillips, who chairs the LAF, urged local organisations to put forward their projects. ‘This is fantastic community opportunity, which enableslocal people to make local decisions for local benefit.’

Bids to be among the six chosen projects must be with the LAF by Tuesday April 14. Chosen projects must directly benefit residents in Amersham, Chenies, Chesham Bois, Coleshill and Penn, and cover a wide spread of these parishes.

The project – the second timeAmersham and its villages have been involved in community budgeting – will give residents of all ages the opportunity to have a say in how their money is spent. Last year more than 1,500 residentsvoted.

The two projects that win the most votes will get £3,000 each, the next two most popular will get £1,500 each, while the remaining two will share £1,000.

Criteria for bidding is available by emailing to locality-services@buckscc.gov.uk More information about bidding criteria can be found at www.buckscc.gov.uk/amershamdecides