This week Downham Market Town Council met to review a set of applications it has received for grant funding, the council had a grant budget available of £2000. The DMTC grant policy aims “to promote a vibrant and active community in Downham Market.“
Three such applications for funding were made to the council; the Downham Market Men’s Shed group, a sexual abuse support charity called Brave Futures, and the Downham Market Social Centre which is part of the Methodist Church on Paradise Road.
Cllr Leivers spoke in favour of providing a grant to the Men’s Shed group, which is fundraising for a disabled toilet as well as a new ‘social hub’ area for their building. Asking fo £4500. Cllr Doyle proposed £500 for the Men’s shed, this was voted down in favour of a second proposal from Cllr Wiles for £1000 for the group’s plans.
Speaking against providing a grant to Brave Futures, Cllr Leivers said that the charity offers services across the whole of Norfolk and Suffolk rather than just Downham Market. She claimed that the Norfolk Police & Crime Commissioner’s Office has donated to the charity £20,000 this month and £50,000 last year.
Mayor Charlie Pyatt said the charity provides “absolutely no help to Downham residents at this moment” but the town clerk told council that Brave Futures support one young person in Downham who has experienced sexual abuse. Over the last three years Brave Futures has helped 7 other such young people. Councillors voted against providing a grant to Brave Futures.
Cllr Lane spoke on the grant request from Downham Market Social Centre, his opinion upon reviewing their accounts was that the group already has funds in the bank to cover what they are asking for from the Downham Market Town Council. The social centre, part of the Paradise Road Methodist church, offers a social space for people as well as low-cost home-cooked meals during weekdays. The council voted to not provide a grant to the social centre.
The upcoming local elections on 4th May will include elections for Downham Market Town Councillors. The deadline for submitting applications to be a candidate is 4th April and the full list of candidates standing for election will be announced after that.