Community-run youth groups can apply for funding thanks to extra council tax

Oxfordshire County Council's base at County Hall in Oxford NNL-180920-115839001
Oxfordshire County Council's base at County Hall in Oxford NNL-180920-115839001

A ‘better than expected’ collection of council tax in Oxfordshire has created a fund to support community-run youth groups in the county.

Oxfordshire County Council are inviting organisations to bid for a grant from a £1m pot over two years to pay for improvements or get new projects started.

The fund forms part of the council’s 2019/20 budget, which includes cutting £600,000 from its mental health provision for next year and doubling spending on children’s social care by 2022/23.

Council leader Ian Hudspeth said: “Our budget is under pressure from the rising cost of supporting vulnerable adults and children at risk of abuse and neglect.

“This needs to be our top priority but I am delighted that we have found a way to help communities provide support for young people.”

Applicants would be encouraged to find match funding from their communities but Cllr Hudspeth said the council looks forward to working with volunteers to support the ‘valued’ services.

The funds would be administered by a cross-party working group of county councillors, chaired by Cllr Mark Gray.

The proposals will be considered by the annual budget setting meeting of the county council on February 12.