Crowdfund Cotswold Launches Residents Given a Chance to Improve Local Places

Cotswold District Council is launching its new online crowdfunding platform next week to give residents the chance to seek financial support for their ideas to improve local places. 

The new platform ‘Crowdfund Cotswold’ launches on 22 February. In partnership with the UK’s leading civic crowdfunding platform Spacehive, the Council is holding a virtual launch event for anyone with ideas about how to improve their communities. 

Sign up and register your interest for the launch event.

Spacehive will also lead a series of online events in March for anyone who is interested in learning a little bit more or might want to discuss ideas that they have. 

Cllr Jenny Forde, Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, said: “We can’t wait to see what ideas and initiatives our residents will put forward to ‘Crowdfund Cotswold’. Local people are best placed to understand the challenges and opportunities in their local area and this will put their ideas in the driving seat.  We would also love to hear from any businesses or organisations who care about the Cotswolds to join us in offering support to project ideas so we can turbocharge the success of locally-led campaigns together. The more people that get involved in ‘Crowdfund Cotswold’, the better.”

How does ‘Crowdfund Cotswold’ work?

The aim of ‘Crowdfund Cotswold’ is simple – to fund and deliver on ideas to improve the District put forward by the local community, for the local community. 

The deadline to put forward your idea is 21 April 2021. You can get started by simply visiting Spacehive’s website and creating your own project page. 

People and organisations can pledge as little as £2 towards a project and contributions are only charged if the campaign hits its target.

Cotswold District Council asks Bourton-on-the-Water Residents for Tourism Charge Feedback

Cotswold District Council is asking residents of Bourton-on-the-Water for their views on how to spend the money raised through a new tourism charge. 

For every stay at the Rissington Road car park, 50p will be charged and the Council expects this to raise £25,000 a year. Any additional money generated will be spent in the village with unspent funds carried over for use in future years.

The consultation opens on 15 February and will run for four weeks with residents asked to give their opinions on some initial ideas for how to spend the money and able to suggest their own ideas.

The survey can be found here: www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/botwtourismcharge 

Initial ideas include bollards to stop illegal parking on Rissington Road, more bins to reduce littering and increased litter picking rounds. 

The consultation is available through the Council’s website and closes on 14 March. Anyone not able to fill out the online survey can write to the council at Communications Team, Cotswold District Council, Trinity Road, Cirencester, Gloucestershire, GL7 1PX.

Cllr Mike Evemy, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Finance, said; “The tourism charge will raise significant additional funds to spend on projects and activities in the village to manage the volume of visitors who come to enjoy what Bourton-on-the-Water has to offer. 

“I would like Bourton residents to respond to the consultation and help us to decide how the tourism charge will be best spent.  I look forward to seeing what people think of our ideas and what other suggestions residents have.”

For more information on the consultation, and to fill out the survey, go to www.cotswold.gov.uk/consultations

Voters Encouraged to Sign up to Postal Voting for May Local Elections

Voters across the Cotswolds are being encouraged to sign up for postal voting at this year’s local elections which are due to be held on 6 May 2021.

By using a postal vote residents can make sure their voice is heard at the local elections from the safety of their home. Residents can apply for postal voting now and have to get their application in before the deadline of 20 April 2021.

Polling stations this year will have a different feel to previous years with COVID-19 safety measures being put in place in line with government guidance.  Even with a successful rollout of the vaccine, and a reduction in cases, there may still be residents who are concerned about visiting a polling station and they are being encouraged to use a postal vote as an alternative to voting in person. 

To be able to use a postal vote in this year’s elections voters must apply to do so with their local council by 20 April 2021. Voters can ask for an application form by visiting the council website at cotswold.gov.uk/registertovote or calling 01285 623002. 

A letter will be going to all residents in the Cotswold District in the coming weeks to check that voter information is accurate ahead of the election and this will include information on whether individuals are already signed up for postal voting and how to apply if they are not.

Jan Britton, Returning Officer for Cotswold District Council said, “Despite the great progress with the vaccine rollout we have to plan for the fact that voter safety will be a priority in the May elections and I would really like to encourage all voters to consider postal voting as an option for making sure their voice is heard at elections this year.
“Voting in person at polling stations will follow all the required safety procedures but we understand some people may still be concerned and postal voting is a safe and secure way of taking part in the elections in 2021.  For anyone interested in voting by post this year they just need to make sure they apply for their postal vote before the 20 April 2021 and I would encourage people to sign up sooner rather than later so they don’t miss the deadline.”

Cotswold District Council Launches ‘Crowdfund Cotswold’ To Bring Community Project Ideas to Life

Cotswold District Council is launching an exciting new online crowdfunding platform that enables residents to raise money to improve their neighbourhoods.

Working in partnership with the UK’s leading civic crowdfunding platform Spacehive, ‘Crowdfund Cotswold’ aims to give residents with ideas to enhance local places the opportunity to seek financial support.  The aim is simple – to fund and deliver on ideas to improve the Cotswold District put forward by the local community, for the local community. The Council has allocated a total of £140,000pa for the programme, with up to £10,000 available to boost projects towards their funding target.

The deadline to put forward your idea is 21 April 2021. You can get started by simply visiting Spacehive’s website and creating your own project page.   People and organisations can pledge as little as £2 towards a project and contributions are only charged if the campaign hits its target.

Spacehive will also lead a series of events online for anyone who is interested in learning a little bit more or might want to discuss ideas that they have. This includes a launch event taking place at 12:00 pm on 22 February and two project creator workshops taking place in March. Sign up and register your interest for the launch event.

Business Grant Applications open for January Lockdown as Applications Process is Simplified

The application process for all business grants via Cotswold District Council has now reopened with individuals encouraged to check their eligibility and apply through the Council website.
A series of different business grants have been made available by the Government with local businesses applying to their local council to access the funding where they are eligible.

Since the pandemic started, Cotswold District Council has distributed 2,154 grants totalling more than £22m in vital funding to local businesses.

Following the series of changes to tiers before Christmas, many businesses were left confused on what they were entitled to. 

The Council has simplified the highly complicated grant applications into two simple forms with staff ensuring that once a business applies it is allocated all the grants it is eligible for without business owners having to apply multiple times. Businesses will only need to apply once depending on whether they were closed by national restrictions or severely impacted but allowed to remain open.

The application form covers the latest lockdown grants as well as those relating to various previous restrictions in force since November.   Business owners that have applied for a grant since November do not need to re-apply by completing another form. Instead, they are being contacted by email from tomorrow and asked to indicate which grants they believe they are entitled to. Their eligibility will then be assessed by the council revenues team. 

Businesses are urged to make sure they look out for council emails if they had applied since November and put in an application if they have not done so since the November lockdown started.

Any business waiting for payment, unsure of the status of their application or wondering whether they should apply for a grant, should see the dedicated web page:

https://cotswold.gov.uk/business-and-licensing/coronavirus-business-and-licensing/coronavirus-business-grants/