Youth group's rescue hit by red tape

PLANS to use council cash to help save a youth charity have been rejected due to red tape.

Canvey Youth Project, in Long Road, is on the verge of closure after 20 years helping troubled youngsters in Castle Point.

The charity, which receives no Government funding and helps up to 700 people a year, could fold in a few months after exhausting means of raising cash.

Councillor Grace Watson suggested at a Canvey East Neighbourhood meeting part of the neighbourhood group’s remaining £2,645, which must be spent before the end of the financial year, be donated to the charity.

But the motion was rejected after council officers said the cash must only be used for environmental projects not requiring ongoing maintenance.

Mrs Watson said: “I am very disappointed. The Project does so much good work. I have no idea what ongoing maintenance the council thinks making a donation would involve. I do not know what we would do without the charity if it closed.”

The borough’s five neighbourhood meeting groups were banned from spending their annual budgets on planting trees because continual maintenance costs – such as pruning – were too high.

Councillors condemned the decision, claiming they were at a loss as to what exactly they can spend money on. Councillor Janice Payne said: “We can’t use the money for trees or to help this charity. What can we spend it on? We’re running out of areas to put benches.”

Castle Point Council gives £2,000 a year each to five neighbourhood groups.

A council spokesman told the meeting: “This money has to be used only on environmental projects, and schemes to increase civic pride.

“They must not have ongoing costs. If this group gave money to the charity, which it would come to rely on, it would mean the group having to keep giving taxpayers’ money to help it stay open.”

Comments (4)

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9:31am Mon 20 Feb 12

mr_happy says...

That's just about right for our cheating, greedy, dishonest councils. They will only help themselves.....
That's just about right for our cheating, greedy, dishonest councils. They will only help themselves..... mr_happy
  • Score: 0

9:43am Mon 20 Feb 12

upset says...

Mrs Watson, you are the elected member not the officers, if you and those who voted for you want this donation to be made, then stop being disappointed and challenged the officers to show you where it is stipulated about the restriction on donations, because history says they are wrong. Numerous similar donations have been made from Neighbour hood funds in the passed.
This council should be run by Councillors on tax payers wishes not by non elected officers who don't live in Castle Point. Come on Councillors of all colours get a grip.
Mrs Watson, you are the elected member not the officers, if you and those who voted for you want this donation to be made, then stop being disappointed and challenged the officers to show you where it is stipulated about the restriction on donations, because history says they are wrong. Numerous similar donations have been made from Neighbour hood funds in the passed. This council should be run by Councillors on tax payers wishes not by non elected officers who don't live in Castle Point. Come on Councillors of all colours get a grip. upset
  • Score: 0

11:10am Mon 20 Feb 12

diane m says...

If you are a teenager, who is struggling (as many do) and you need somewhere to turn, things are very few and far between these days.

Before you would maybe speak to your GP, all they do now is refer you to a team at Thundersley Clinic, who take months to even see you, then cannot take things further (it's an absolute joke, which offers no help nor indeed support for those who genuinely need it urgently).

Maybe speak to a Teacher? Well they are overworked, rushing between lessons and have no spare time for you these days.

Can you speak to Mum or Dad? Sadly they are sometimes the very problem itself.

That is where this project comes in, it gives Teens who are maybe depressed, suicidal, or just plain in need of a listening ear and a friendly support to put them back on the right track.

The people there are friendly, non-judgemental, they help people up to age 25, with all sorts of things. They can see you urgently if it's needed.

They don't have boxes you need to fit in, like being disabled, on benefits or any other kind of "we only help those type of people" they are there for everyone in the under 25 bracket.

Their little office, is in dire need of help, a painting, a carpet, a few decent matching chairs, but all that is not a problem, everyone is just glad to be heard and helped.

I'd love to see donations for them, to help them update their little centre, to move to a bigger premises, so they can have more counsellors available, a drop in place for those in urgent need of someone to talk to, whenever that may be.

For their rooms to be updated, to make them warm and comfortable and for the hardworking, giving people there to be applauded, supported and appreciated for the time, effort and help they give to some people who need it so badly.

We often moan about the youth of today.... well here is a chance to change things, to make them better people for the future by offering them help.

If anyone of any standing, or who is looking for a charity to support is reading this, please, please help this team, they really deserve it.

Thankyou :)
If you are a teenager, who is struggling (as many do) and you need somewhere to turn, things are very few and far between these days. Before you would maybe speak to your GP, all they do now is refer you to a team at Thundersley Clinic, who take months to even see you, then cannot take things further (it's an absolute joke, which offers no help nor indeed support for those who genuinely need it urgently). Maybe speak to a Teacher? Well they are overworked, rushing between lessons and have no spare time for you these days. Can you speak to Mum or Dad? Sadly they are sometimes the very problem itself. That is where this project comes in, it gives Teens who are maybe depressed, suicidal, or just plain in need of a listening ear and a friendly support to put them back on the right track. The people there are friendly, non-judgemental, they help people up to age 25, with all sorts of things. They can see you urgently if it's needed. They don't have boxes you need to fit in, like being disabled, on benefits or any other kind of "we only help those type of people" they are there for everyone in the under 25 bracket. Their little office, is in dire need of help, a painting, a carpet, a few decent matching chairs, but all that is not a problem, everyone is just glad to be heard and helped. I'd love to see donations for them, to help them update their little centre, to move to a bigger premises, so they can have more counsellors available, a drop in place for those in urgent need of someone to talk to, whenever that may be. For their rooms to be updated, to make them warm and comfortable and for the hardworking, giving people there to be applauded, supported and appreciated for the time, effort and help they give to some people who need it so badly. We often moan about the youth of today.... well here is a chance to change things, to make them better people for the future by offering them help. If anyone of any standing, or who is looking for a charity to support is reading this, please, please help this team, they really deserve it. Thankyou :) diane m
  • Score: 0

2:13pm Mon 20 Feb 12

John T Pharro says...

upset wrote:
Mrs Watson, you are the elected member not the officers, if you and those who voted for you want this donation to be made, then stop being disappointed and challenged the officers to show you where it is stipulated about the restriction on donations, because history says they are wrong. Numerous similar donations have been made from Neighbour hood funds in the passed.
This council should be run by Councillors on tax payers wishes not by non elected officers who don't live in Castle Point. Come on Councillors of all colours get a grip.
Could not agree more upset. This is actually the core of my formal complaint to Castle Point Council standards committee following that meeeting. Some Council Officers think they run the Council not the elected Councillors.
Despite Councillors objecting unelected Officers changed the format and dictated the Agenda for the Canvey East Neighbourhood Meeting.
Residents and elected Councillors should say what is on Neighbourhood Agendas,
That money was nearly lost altogether because of the changed Agenda.
Follow my lead those who think I am right and raise your objection to the Standards Committee Attn Mr D Marchant Chief Executive copy to Councillor P Challis the Council leader.
It is about time some Council Officers start administrating and advising Councillors not running the show.
Remember what our PM Mr Cameron says get involved hold your MP Council, Councillors and Officers accountable and complaining to them not moaning about them is how you do it.
[quote][p][bold]upset[/bold] wrote: Mrs Watson, you are the elected member not the officers, if you and those who voted for you want this donation to be made, then stop being disappointed and challenged the officers to show you where it is stipulated about the restriction on donations, because history says they are wrong. Numerous similar donations have been made from Neighbour hood funds in the passed. This council should be run by Councillors on tax payers wishes not by non elected officers who don't live in Castle Point. Come on Councillors of all colours get a grip.[/p][/quote]Could not agree more upset. This is actually the core of my formal complaint to Castle Point Council standards committee following that meeeting. Some Council Officers think they run the Council not the elected Councillors. Despite Councillors objecting unelected Officers changed the format and dictated the Agenda for the Canvey East Neighbourhood Meeting. Residents and elected Councillors should say what is on Neighbourhood Agendas, That money was nearly lost altogether because of the changed Agenda. Follow my lead those who think I am right and raise your objection to the Standards Committee Attn Mr D Marchant Chief Executive copy to Councillor P Challis the Council leader. It is about time some Council Officers start administrating and advising Councillors not running the show. Remember what our PM Mr Cameron says get involved hold your MP Council, Councillors and Officers accountable and complaining to them not moaning about them is how you do it. John T Pharro
  • Score: 0

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