CWN - News & Information for Coventry & Warwickshire 20x21spacer.gif (59 bytes)What's New?Search CWN
£3m Flows To Help Villages

Millions of pounds will be pumped into south Warwickshire to combat rural deprivation.

A joint bid by the county council with Stratford and Warwick district councils has been rewarded with a £3 million grant from the government.

It is not as much as they asked for, but was more successful than the Coventry bid, which received nothing.

While many see the south of the county as an affluent commuter belt area, this money is to be used to help those who live in the villages with poor communication links and limited access to information.

Some areas have no schools, shops or public transport, leaving unemployed and elderly residents with no access to work or shopping.

Chris Mitchell, of Stratford District Council said it is not only cities that are deprived. He said:

"People may tend think of the obvious urban big cities when they think of deprivation, and everyone understands the problems they face.

“But there are problems in rural areas, where people can't get to the towns and cities for help and information, because there is no bus. It is difficult for them to get to services and this money will help address that.

“This bid has been put together by lots of agencies and voluntary groups and the councils have acted as the agents.

“The money has been promised by the Government Agency and now we will have to decide how to spend it, so we cannot be too specific at this stage.”

The £3 million money will be used to help get more services to rural people, or help get them into the towns where there is a wide range of help on offer.

It could mean boosting up the Depot Bus services that tours rural areas and offers advice, or extra money for Age Concern, which offers help to elderly people in isolated areas.

South Warwickshire has above-average numbers of older people, some of whom are trapped in isolated hamlet with limited access to advice surgeries.

The South Warwickshire Together Partnership, known as PIE, joined forces to make a bid to Advantage West Midlands, the government's regional agency for funding from the Single Regeneration Budget.

It announced today that it has granted £3m as part of a £9m programme to tackle social exclusion and poverty over the next six years in isolated pockets of south Warwickshire.

Cllr Bob Stevens, leader of Stratford-on-Avon District Council, one of the partners in the bid, said:

"I am thrilled we have been awarded this grant. The apparent high quality of life in this part of the country is not shared by everyone, but measuring rural poverty and exclusion are very difficult to illustrate using traditional statistical methods.

"I am sure that our success in getting this funding was down to our effort in understanding and marketing rural social issues in our area, and the excellent partnership approach.

"Evidence provided by both Stratford and Warwick District Councils showed that around 12,000 households in the area are in receipt of some form of means-tested benefits, of which 8,000 are pensioner households, and around 4,000 children live in benefit-dependent households.

"We will now start a number of initiatives, including improving the skills, educational and employment prospects for local people, addressing social exclusion, reducing crime and drug abuse."

The objectives of the bid are to enhance the economic, environmental and social well being of the people in south Warwickshire.

The idea is to look at the needs of residents and business people and help them get to information for jobs and training.

It is hoped this will lead to:

  • 25 per cent increase in people entering further education and training:
  • 20 per cent reduction in number of businesses experiencing skill shortages;
  • 50 per cent increase in people taking up volunteer work;
  • 20 per cent reduction in the number of non pensioner households receiving benefit;
  • 20 per cent increase in number of villages with all key services;
  • 20 per cent reduction in the number of nuisance youth incidents.


1x22rule.gif (89 bytes)
Help support CWN - buy your books online with Amazon

150x15more.gif (274 bytes)



Warwickshire County Council - Our County 1998-2001

Find an old School Friend on CWN

CWN - The Key Facts

CWN / Politics / Stratford on Avon District Council / 2 Aug 00

©1995-2000 Coventry Internet Developments Ltd

This page modified on 10 November 2008 09:49:15AM