‘Put local need before ability to fill in forms’

An aerial view of Midlothian.
An aerial view of Midlothian.

Midlothian’s Labour councillors have claimed that small grants funding isn’t the right way to distribute funds, as those most in need should come before the best group at filling in forms.

Small grant funding totalling nearly £100,000 was last week awarded to 115 local groups by Midlothian Council for 2017/18, contributing to a range of community activities. Speaking at the council meeting, Labour group leader Derek Milligan said: “We don’t believe that this is the right way to allocate funding to groups.

“You can see, for example, that community councils are asking for different amounts for general running costs.

“You look at some of the sports groups where they have put in the exact same items and maybe added an additional one on. One that added on that it was going to do pitch maintenance got a third of its grant cut off.

“We seem to be in a position now where the folk filling this in properly get the money. It is about getting folk to fill a form in right. It shouldn’t be about that. We should be looking to allocating money best in the community. And not just whose filling these forms properly.”

Councillor Jim Bryant (SNP) pointed out that there is help available to fill in the forms, adding: “I would like to acknowledge the significant contribution the voluntary and third sector makes to communities right across Midlothian.”