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Cash Awarded By Local People for Caithness community projects

31st May 2016

Local people cast their votes this past weekend on Saturday 28 May 2016 at a Highland Council participatory budgeting event held in Thurso High School.

Eleven out of the 19 projects bidding for £30,000 community funding were successfully voted for by over 120 people who registered to vote on the day.

Applicants were given a 3 minute slot to sell their project with a further 2 minutes allocated to allow any questions from the audience. The event was co-chaired by Caithness Committee chairman and Thurso Councillor Roger Saxon along with Landward Councillor Willie Mackay. Landward Councillor Gillian Coghill was also in attendance.

Councillor Saxon said: "I was really pleased to see so many people turn out to take part in the second "Your Cash, Your Caithness" participatory budgeting event in Thurso High School hall. We had 19 groups giving presentations to a community audience, who then voted for them on their merits. The event handed out just over £30,000.00 to local good causes.

“We believe handing decision making to the community it is a great way to support community empowerment and helps build community cohesion. This event is an opportunity for Caithness groups to meet new people and find out what is happening locally.

“This process is all about handing decision-making back to the community and its part of our localism agenda, which has seen devolving of further powers from the Highland Council to Caithness.

“But it's not just an idea cooked up within Highland. The Community Empowerment Act 2015 requires councils and other public bodies to support communities, giving them more influence over what matters to them. It requires the public sector to work in partnership to support the development of local action, helping communities take part in decision-making. We are going to hear a lot more about this partnership working in the coming months.

“Congratulations to the winning teams; we look forward to seeing how you use the money and our thanks to everyone who made the day such a success.".

The successful bids voted for by the audience are as follows:

Connect Carers - training for carers/stress relief sessions for carers/day out for carers, £1,200
AMD Caithness - Development of local group, £3,000
Wick Players - roof refurbishment of club rooms, £3,000
M.S. Therapy - upgrading of chamber oxygen systems, £3,000
Caithness Sight Impairment Group - respite break and equipment, £3,000
Thurso in Bloom - flower purchase/xmas tree purchase/equipment, £2,700
Latheronwheel and Latheron Improvement Group - upkeep and repairs at Latheronwheel harbour, £3,000
1st Wick Scouts - upgrade of Scout Hall including toilets refurbishment, £3,000
Ormlie Community Association - Silver Sightseers trips, £2,920
Wick Society: Oral History Section - recording equipment, £2,889
Thurso Heritage Society - Scanning equipment, £2,874

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