Are you involved in any local businesses targeting Queen Edith’s residents? Read on to the end…
Our local newsletter, “Queen Edith’s Community News”, has been given a grant from the city council to continue for another year, which is great news. As one of the co-editors, I’m particularly excited about this. If you’re a Queen Edith’s resident, you should have had our re-launched issue (above) through your door two or three weeks ago, but if you didn’t, email me here and I’ll drop a copy round to you.
Getting the funding from the council was a slightly unnecessarily protracted process, but the council officers involved were exceptionally generous in the end. They have to sift through the applications and recommend to our “South Area” councillors which community projects which should receive funding each year. Our councillors then approve or amend the list of grants. Queen Edith’s Community News received such a recommendation and was put on the list at last month’s South Area council committee meeting.
However, there isn’t enough money to go round, and the proposal was to fund a large number of projects, but only in part. While recognising this, we also thought that it was a little unfair, as although the Queen Edith’s ward has a third of the residents in the south of the city, we were only applying for (and receiving) less than 10% of the grants. With over half of the money scheduled for projects in Trumpington, we thought that our projects should be fully funded, and we told our own councillors so. There is no physical “community hub” in Queen Edith’s, and in terms of acting as a noticeboard, a newsletter can go some of the way to making up for this.
Little appetite to support us
During their deliberations, our Queen Edith’s councillors raised this inequity, but there was little appetite from the Cherry Hinton and Trumpington councillors to help us. In the end, the councillors did not even propose an amendment to give us the full funding. We assumed that was the end of the matter, and that we were just going to be partially funded.
However, earlier in the meeting, during contributions from the floor, our case had been made by Andy Bower, who is standing as the Conservative Party candidate for the city council here in Queen Edith’s next month. And it turned out that his argument had made quite an impression on the council officer present. The next day, she sent us an email to say that although the discussion hadn’t persuaded the councillors to even propose that we get our full funding, there was a small contingency available elsewhere, and that we could have enough from this to make up the shortfall. It was very generous, and we are also extremely grateful to her – and to Andy Bower.
What we plan to do
Now it’s down to us to make Queen Edith’s Community News work. The council funding will enable us to publish three 4-page issues, which we’ll schedule to coincide with the ends of the three school terms. However, assuming we can get some advertising from local businesses, we can make the issues more extensive. If you’re involved in such a business, and would like to take advantage of this opportunity, there are some details here. Local estate agency Carter Jonas Bradshaws has supported the current issue in this way.
Alternatively, if you run a local not-for-profit organisation, and would like to get a message through every one of the 3,000 letterboxes in Queen Edith’s, we can offer you a page in the newsletter at cost, which is just £100 for an A4 page. This will make community messaging affordable for the first time for such organisations (printing and delivering an A4 sheet to every house in Queen Edith’s can cost from £400 to £700). If that might be of interest to your organisation, just let us know.