At the Community & Culture committee meeting of 14th February, Hedge End Town Council was asked to contribute £500 to the Asian Welfare & Cultural Association, which would be put towards the cost of staging the Eastleigh Music Festival and Mela.
The grant was requested under section 137 of the Local Government & Housing Act, 1972 which allows local authorities to spend a limited amount on activities they were not otherwise empowered to do, but which they considered to be in the interests of their area or its inhabitants, and which would produce a benefit commensurate with the expenditure involved.
During the discussion, Cllr Dan Clarke commented;
Hedge End residents have already contributed via the Borough’s contribution to this event. It is unfair on Hedge End to have to double-up.
Cllr Garton was supportive of the idea, saying;
Its a great event and the food is wonderful.
The chair of the meeting Cllr Louise Bloom summed-up by saying;
I’m not keen on double taxation, but there are exceptions.
Despite the Councillors reservations, the grant was approved on the condition that other Parish Councils should be approached for a similar contribution in future, so that it is not just Hedge End that has to pay twice.
Cllr Stan Sthankiya was not present during the discussion of this item due to his connections with the Asian Welfare & Cultural Association.
Other grants that were awarded were;
- £187.20 to St Johns Ambulance in Hedge End, to fund some new signs for the front of their building.
- £300 to Hedge End New Music Makers, for hire of a Hall and a professional Pianist.
One idea that was put forward during the discussion, that the Twinning Association could apply for a section 137 grant, was quickly dismissed by Cllr Bloom on the grounds that the Section 137 funds are to be allocated to the wider community of Hedge End, not something that its Councillors are connected with…
The author of this article, Ray Turner, will be standing as an Independent candidate in the Hedge End, Shamblehurst, by election.