Local Funds Spent at Air Festival By Councillors

The ‘Local Improvement Fund’ (LIF) is a fund for all councillors to spend each year in their ward. This relatively small amount of money may not be huge but it can help make a massive difference to a ward. Over the past few months the forum has been trying to negotiate the use of some of this money in Pokesdown with limited success. I submitted a Freedom of Information request to uncover exactly what our ward cllrs were using this money for. The results are below. 

It seems a significant amount every year is spent on the Air Festival (with the possibility of being members of the Air Festival ‘Patrons’ Club). This is a shame when in the year to date only £850 has been spent on worthy local causes. 

Two councillors: Cllr Rochester (Con) and Cllr Wilson (now ind) have spent money on the air festival – totaling £550 rather than local causes. Exactly what is received in return for this is not specified. However, it seems our ward councillors aren’t the only councillors to use their local improvement money on the air festival, but we are only concerned with out local ward representatives.

This year Cllr Linda Bailey (Con) has yet to spend any of her allocation.  Unfortunately we have been unable to contact Cllr Bailey for some time and also note there has been no mention of her on the ward website. 

In the previous year the money was pooled between the ward cllrs and spent on schools, and station repairs which shows the good use it can be put to. However,  £800 of local Improvement money (LIF) again went towards the air festival. Again a real shame. There is so much that could be done in Pokesdown, ideally everyone would like to see more funding from the council in Pokesdown, but in the absence of council funding, I urge our local ward cllrs to use the Local Improvement money wisely, and exclusively locally. 

Cllr Rochester (Con): Air Festival 2014 £300, Kings Park SEN £450
Cllr Wilson (Ind): Air Festival 2014 £250, Friends of Fisherman’s Walk £200, Planting £200
Cllr Bailey (Con): £nil

Cllrs in Boscombe East: Air Festival £800, Road Closure for Carnival £100, St James’ Primary School Library £900, Corpus Christi Books £900, Pokesdown Primary Equipment £900, Pokesdown Station Repairs £200, In Bloom £200, Pokesdown Children’s Centre £900

Full breakdown as Excel
In the interests of transparency other councils publish these figures on their websites (see Highpeak council). This would avoid the long process I had to go through. I would urge Bournemouth to adopt the same approach as other councils.

By Ben Smith: you can contact me on twitter https://twitter.com/BenSmith40


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