County Hall

New fund set up to help community facilities re-open

A NEW £500,000 fund is being launched by Somerset County Council to help towns and parishes re-open community facilities safely and bring people back together.

As national coronavirus restrictions ease, the county council is working in partnership with Somerset Association of Local Councils (SALC) to help towns and parishes open up village halls, meeting rooms and other facilities in a Covid-secure way.

A council spokesperson said: “The safe re-opening will reassure people that they can reconnect with their communities after long months of isolation and remove some of the anxieties they may have around social mixing.

“The money is being allocated by Somerset County Council from Contain Outbreak Management Funding (COMF), provided by the Department for Health and Social Care to support public health activities directly related to the Covid-19 response.”

Empowering communities

Leader of the council, David Fothergill, said: “We’re committed to empowering our local communities and I’m delighted to launch this fund which will help ensure local facilities can reopen safely.

“Parish and town councils are at the grass roots of local community democracy and as the first tier of local government play a key role in supporting community activity.”

Cllr Clare Paul, Cabinet member for Public Health and Education, said: “This is about supporting people to feel safe and confident as the restrictions ease after lockdowns and to encourage people to use their village halls and facilities to meet, re-establish support groups and activities in a measured responsible way.”

The fund is due to launch in September 2021 and will be led and administered by SALC with support from the County Council. Communities with parish meetings will be included.

 

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