Category Archives: Council News

Council Supports Projects Through Prosperity Fund

Hull City Council is delighted to announce it has been able to support a host of local organisations in the first round of the UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF).

In total, £1.1m was distributed between 29 projects which were the recipients of funding ranging from £4,000 to £100,000. The council invited groups to apply last autumn and received numerous applications for round one of the grants.

The successful projects range from local businesses, social enterprises, voluntary and community sector groups and the public sector giving access to training, volunteering, improved community facilities and increased access to arts, festivals, and cultural activities.

Delivery of the schemes began earlier this year and are due to be completed by 31 March.

Hull City Council’s portfolio holder for regeneration, Councillor Paul Drake-Davis, said: “I am very happy that we can support these local projects with grants from the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.”

“It’s good to know that these projects are now in a position to come to fruition thanks to the council’s support and I look forward to seeing the final outcomes.”

The UKSPF is a key part of the government’s Levelling Up agenda.
Its funding aims to promote high quality skills training, supporting pay, employment and productivity growth and increasing life chances.

It supports the delivery of economic improvements in Hull aligned to the government’s Levelling Up Programme, which has three main priorities: communities and place, supporting local business and people and skills.

Round two of the UKSPF sees a further £5m being made available for use between April 2023 and March 2025.

New Community Woodland Set To Be Created

A new community woodland is set to be created in Dinnington. Funding has been secured to create a new community woodland off Athorpe Road in Dinnington, where 7,700 young trees are set to be planted on former grazing land.

The woodland will be named the Queen Elizabeth II Community Woodland, as a tribute to Her Late Majesty and her Platinum Jubilee Queen’s Green Canopy initiative.

This project has been supported by the South Yorkshire Woodland Partnership and will be funded through the Woodland Trust’s Grow Back Greener programme, as part of the Northern Forest.

The new woodland will be a space for the community. The design reflects this with walkways and space provided for sledging days over the winter months.

Biodegradable tree guards will protect the newly planted tree whips and this will ensure that there is no plastic waste on the site.

Work has already taken place to prepare the site. Children from Laughton All Saints CofE Primary School took part in a litter pick day recently.

A community planting day will take place on Saturday 25 February from 10.30am to 3pm. This will be a drop-in session and local residents are encouraged to come along. Gloves and spades will be provided on the day. The meeting point will be off Athorpe Road (opposite Tesco car park).

Planting days with schools and community groups are also set to take place over the coming months.

The Council has made a commitment to achieve net zero by 2030 and is investing in staff, resources and schemes to contribute towards achieving this target.

As part of the Council’s pledge to tackle climate change, a target has been set to plant 10,500 trees in Rotherham every year for the next 10 years. Last year, the Council exceeded the target and planted 22,139 trees in the borough.

Councillor David Sheppard, Cabinet Member for Social Inclusion at Rotherham Council, said: “Climate change is an important issue and as a Council we are taking steps to respond to the climate emergency.”

“The Queen Elizabeth II Community Woodland forms part of our efforts to create a greener and cleaner local environment for residents.
“There will be lots of opportunities for people to get involved in this exciting project, including a planting day, which is set to take place later this month.”

Matt North, Programme Manager at the South Yorkshire Woodland Partnership, said: “We work with public and private landowners to develop and fund woodland creation that’s of benefit for people and wildlife. We really enjoyed working with council officers designing a woodland that will be a home for nature that the public can enjoy.”

“It’s fantastic to see the local community being able to take part in helping create and care for this significant project in Dinnington.”

Maritime Community Grant Benefits For Hull

Photo Credit: Festival Of The Sea with Mambo Jambo by Paul J Cunningham.

Hull Maritime has handed out more than £20,000 in grants to support local community groups to deliver maritime themed projects to communities across the city.

The second round of Hull Maritime Community Grant Scheme launched in October and received a record number of applications from community groups and residents in Hull and surrounding areas.

Micro grants of up to £500 and small grants of up to £2,000 were available in three categories: Heritage, Environment, and Wellbeing, reflecting important and timely themes and drawing links between our maritime past, present and future.

The first round in 2022, awarded eight projects with funding and included a new sculpture by Art You Experienced, created from community litter picks along the river Hull; helping the Beverley Barge Preservation Society to bring the historic Syntan to Hull Marina and take part in the Queen’s Jubilee Flotilla; and funding to provide information boards to accompany the Lost Trawlermen’s Memorial which is being installed on St Andrew’s Quay.

The latest round has awarded thirteen grants and includes:

  • Tamar and Jo for a community dance project culminating in performances at Edinburgh Street Community Centre in July 2023.
  • Mambo Jambo to co-create a podcast with young people at Ron Dearing UTC and West Hull Community Radio, focused on maritime issues.
  • Twelve Tribes of Yorkshire for a community history project and exhibitions exploring the stories and experiences of local African and Caribbean seafarers.
  • Lauren Saunders for a creative wellbeing course focused on our relationships to water and the maritime environment, to be delivered in partnership with NHS Humber Recovery and Wellbeing College.
  • Three Ways East for a project exploring maritime identity and storytelling through tattoos, using photography, creative works, and exhibitions.
  • Rooted in Hull for a maritime-themed arts, music, and culture event (and associated workshops) in June 2023.
  • Hull Bullnose Heritage Group to support their research on fishermen and trawling histories, focused on the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
  • Fantastic Faces for a collaborative maritime mural to be created within Pearson Park.
  • The People Project for a photography exhibition of sixty portraits and stories relating to Hull’s fishing heritage communities.
  • St Giles Scout Group for a maritime-themed day trip to Hull city centre, taking place in April 2023.
  • The Headscarf Revolutionaries Statue Management Committee to hold four consultation workshops across the city in July and August 2023.
  • Friends of Garrowby Orchard to create interpretation panels for Setting Dyke Community Greenspace, exploring the site’s historic role in flood defences and the future of blue-green spaces.
  • Alex Hunt to work with young people to co-create a mural dedicated to women’s histories of maritime Hull, in partnership with Bankside Gallery.

Councillor Mike Ross, Leader of Hull City Council, said: “The latest round of the Hull Maritime Community Grant Scheme has had an exceptional response, with a range of creative projects led by our residents covering a vast range of themes including storytelling, dance and music, art, exhibitions, and exciting events.”

“The selected projects will connect our communities with our maritime past, present and future, support skill development and improve wellbeing, as well as helping people to learn more about our city.”

Lauren Saunders, one of the recipients of a community grant, said: “I’m absolutely thrilled to have been awarded this community grant, to be part of the Hull Maritime story and to be working with Recovery College students.”

Future rounds of the Hull Maritime Community Grant Scheme will take place later in the year.

Hull Maritime is funded by Hull City Council and The National Lottery Heritage Fund, it encompasses the redevelopment of five historic sites in Hull city centre.

Plan To Improve Local Housing Set To Be Agreed

A new Housing Plan that sets out how Wakefield Council will improve local housing is due to be agreed by senior councillors.

The new plan details what action will be taken to provide residents with homes that meet their needs over the next three years, from now until 2026.

It will replace the previous one that ended last year and has been updated to ensure it can meet the current challenges faced by local communities, such as the rise in living costs and home improvements that contribute towards reducing the effects of climate change.

There are twelve priorities outlined in the plan, chosen because they will have the greatest impact on people’s lives. They were agreed following a public consultation during which a wide range of views were received on what the proposed plan should contain.

Under the plan, housing-led regeneration projects across the district will continue, including 2,600 new homes to be built in east Wakefield, as part of the City Fields Masterplan.

The plan includes using the Public Rented Sector Scheme and working closely with private developers and Registered Providers to increase the number of affordable new homes.

The Council will work with its partners and developers through the planning process to improve the quality and design of new homes.

Owners of private rented properties will be targeted to ensure tenants live in homes that are safe and healthy.

An assessment of the housing market has highlighted that specialist housing need, whether for physical or mental disability, will increase significantly over the next 15 years. The housing plan proposes a number of measures that would create accommodation suitable for people living with a disability.

To tackle the risk of people losing their homes or going into debt because of higher energy bills the Council has committed to providing advice and support to help people cope.

The Energy Debt Fund will offer grants to those struggling to pay their bills and training will be offered to those who need it on managing household budgets through the Money Smart scheme.

The Council will continue to support residents to save energy, reduce their bills and carbon emissions with energy efficiency and renewable energy improvement schemes.

Cllr Denise Jeffery, Leader of Wakefield Council, said: “It is important that all our residents are given the chance to live in high quality housing, as it gives them a secure base from which to live and work in the district.
“Equally important, at this time, is the economic turmoil we are facing and the impact that is having on people who used to be able to comfortably afford to rent or own their home. Our proposed plan is aimed at helping them too.”

The report before Cabinet also reflects on the achievements of the previous Housing Plan, from 2019-2022. They include:

  • 4,482 new homes completed
  • 424 empty properties brought back into use through a combination of support and enforcement action
  • 1,271 private rented sector hazards removed through reactive and proactive partnership building and enforcement action
  • £5m grant funding secured to deliver fuel poverty support schemes
  • Key Council owned sites being developed for affordable housing at Farm Lane, Chantry, and Castleford Baths.

Cllr Jeffery added: “Our previous plan has made a lasting impact on people’s lives. It was achieved during one of the most difficult times this country has faced, due to the effects of Brexit, the Covid pandemic, followed by economic uncertainty.”

“We’ve made encouraging progress and have developed strong and effective partnerships but recognise that we need to do more for our residents.”

Cabinet will meet on Tuesday 14 February at 10.30am. The meeting can be watched live or later on the Council’s website.

New Competition Launched To Celebrate Neurodiversity

Hull City Council will be marking Neurodiversity Celebration Week by inviting young people in Hull to take part in a creative competition that celebrates neurodiversity.

Neurodiversity Celebration Week takes place from 13-19 March. It’s a worldwide initiative that challenges stereotypes and misconceptions about autism and learning disabilities.

The competition has been held in partnership with Hull Culture and Leisure Ltd and the John Cracknell Youth Enterprise Bank. It will be judged by a panel including Deputy Lord Mayor Councillor Kalvin Neal, local artist and entrepreneur Robert Briggs, student author Luke Garner and entrepreneur Tony Robinson OBE.

The initiative aims to encourage schools to recognise the strengths and talents of young people who are neurodivergent, who think and learn differently, including students who are autistic, dyslexic, or have dyspraxia, dyscalculia or ADHD. It also hopes to help recognise the contribution made by people who are neurodivergent in the workplace and those running their own businesses.

People who, for instance, have dyslexia can be good at problem-solving and focusing on the wider picture, so many people who have dyslexia make great business leaders. Many entrepreneurs consider themselves neurodivergent and it is reported that 20% of the UK’s business self-starters are neurodivergent and 35% of company founders in America consider themselves dyslexic.

The competition challenges young people aged 25 and under in Hull, to produce an image to illustrate at least one of the conditions that come under the neurodiversity banner. Young people and schools can then submit them to Hull City Council and post them on their social media accounts, using the hashtags #NeuroDiversityWeek and #HullNDW23 #NCWeek #NCWeek23.

Last year’s winners came from Northcott School, Chiltern Primary School, St Mary’s College, Oakfield School, as well as a young entrepreneur Georgia Wormald of Fairytale Face Paints.

The judging panel will be chaired by Councillor Rob Pritchard, who will choose the individual three winners. They will receive cash prizes and the educational establishment with the overall best entries will receive £250 from the John Cracknell Youth Enterprise Bank to go towards celebrating next year’s Neurodiversity Celebration Week.

The winners will have afternoon tea with the Lord Mayor and have their images exhibited.

Councillor Rob Pritchard Cabinet Member for Communities said: “As a person with dyslexia myself, I am delighted to be chairing the judging panel for this competition to celebrate Neurodiversity Week 2023. I’m looking forward to seeing some great entries from the young people of Hull.”

“At Hull City Council, we believe it is important to raise awareness and encourage openness around neurodiversity. We recognise that as an employer ourselves, we must create an awareness as to the benefits and strengths of neurodiversity in the workplace. We are also delighted to be working with Neurodiversity in Business so that we can become a neurodiverse-friendly employer and service provider.”

Tony Robinson OBE, Microbusiness Champion and Patron of John Cracknell Youth Enterprise Bank said: “As a person with dyspraxia, I am delighted that the John Cracknell Youth Enterprise Bank are sponsoring this competition to honour Neurodiversity Celebration Week, especially as the founder is neurodivergent.”

“Many leading entrepreneurs including Richard Branson, Bill Gates, Lord Sugar, Anita Roddick, Jamie Oliver and IKEA founder Ingvar Kamprad are neurodiverse, clearly showing that it is no hindrance to success. “

“Together we can celebrate all those in our community who are neurodiverse, after all we are human as well and deserve reasonable adjustment.”

Neurodiversity Celebration Week has over 1,400 schools and 685,000 students worldwide signed up to celebrate through themed events, guest speakers and raising awareness. The week is endorsed by over 20 charities and hundreds of businesses and organisations also take part, including the Stock Exchange, the U.K. Ministry of Defence, the Royal Navy, Deloitte, Savills and AstraZeneca, as well as local authorities like Hull City Council.

Entrants can email their submissions to

Alternatively, they can be posted to:

FAO Charles Cracknell
Neuro Diversity Celebration Week Competition
Hull City Council
Guildhall (Room 22D)
Alfred Gelder Street

The competition will close on Tuesday 14 March and judging will take place on Friday 17 March.

Cabinet To Approve Rotherham Housing & Tenant Support Plans

Rotherham Council’s Cabinet is set to renew its commitments to supporting tenants, continued investment in housing growth, and maintaining the Decent Homes Standard at its meeting on Monday 13 February.

The Housing Revenue Account Business Plan renews the Council’s commitment to supporting tenants with financial pressures resulting from the cost of living crisis. It will also see investment of £115.7m in new affordable housing by 2025-26 and a continued commitment to invest £1.6m per year in Housing Support Services.

The new homes to be delivered by the Housing Growth Programme will be delivered by either building new properties on Council owned land, or by the purchasing of suitable homes from private developers and the open market. The aim is to provide much needed affordable housing that people in Rotherham require.

There is continued demand for Council homes across Rotherham. Since April 2022, there were over 6,600 people on the Council’s Housing Register.

To support this programme of investment, Cabinet is set to approve a seven per cent increase in Council tenant and shared ownerships rents, and a six per cent increase in charges for shared facilities such as garages and laundry facilities. This increase is significantly less than inflation and most Rotherham Council tenants will receive additional Housing Benefit or Universal Credit that will cover some or all of the increase.

Cabinet is also expected to agree an increase in District Heating charges, paid by 1,260 properties around the borough, with the unit rate increasing from 7.22p to 20.68p. This will mean the average bill for a District Heating customer will be in line with the proposed government energy price cap from April 2023. To keep the increase down to this level, the Council is proposed to spend nearly £2.6 million from the Housing Revenue Account – a significant increase on the amount being spent this year.

Councillor Amy Brookes, Rotherham Council’s Cabinet member for Housing, said: “It is vital that the funding is available to maintain good quality homes and services for the tenants of Rotherham. At the moment, our Housing budget is under pressure as a result of increasing costs and the impact of the government’s rent cap, which means real terms cuts to the money we have available to spend on housing.”

“Building new council homes is a key priority for us, to ensure that more residents are able to access affordable housing which suits their and their family’s needs. We can’t afford to let up on making more affordable homes available.”

From January 2018 to November 2022, the Council completed work on a range of new affordable homes including 314 homes for rent and 125 homes for shared ownership. 354 of these homes were new builds through Council-led construction projects, including the new Riverside Residential Quarter in Rotherham town centre.

Further information about council homes and shared ownership is available on the Rotherham Council website here

Council Supports Businesses Looking To Potentially Export

In the latest of its series of funded business workshops to support local SMEs, Craven District Council has enlisted the Department for International Trade (DIT) and other experts to encourage business owners to take their first steps in exploring markets outside the UK.

The Growing Your Global Business event takes place at The Coniston Hotel on Thursday 9th February from 9am – 12 and provides an opportunity for local business owners who are considering or venturing into export to interact with the panel and have one-to-one meetings with the speakers for advice tailored to their respective businesses.

Representatives from UK Export Finance, Chamber International, Resolve and the York & North Yorkshire Local Enterprise Partnership will be among the experts alongside the DIT. Presentations will include a case study from SkillsForge, an update on the Export Academy and information about the new International Trade Qualification.

The event is intended to benefit business owners with companies operating in any market sector and will be productive whether they are completely new to export or looking to expand their existing export activity further afield with valuable new insights from the event.

Craven District Council is delivering this event in partnership with the experts as part of the Langcliffe Quarry Enterprise Centre project, using funds from the European Regional Development Fund.

Business owners can book a place at this free event here

Urgent Call Out For Food Bank Donations

As the cost of living crisis continues to affect families locally and nationally, Hull food banks are in desperate need of donations. Every week foodbanks help hundreds of people across the city – and they are reliant on the generosity of donors to keep going.

Organisations including Hull 4 Heroes, North Bank Forum and Hull City Council work together to help with collection and distribution of goods. Donation points have been set up throughout the city, to make it as easy as possible to drop items off.

Donations of items which have a long shelf-life and do not need to be refrigerated, such as long life milk, tinned and packet goods, cereals, soup, pasta and cooking sauces are particularly needed. Toiletries and personal care products, including shampoo, toothpaste, soap, lip balm, deodorant, baby essentials and sanitary products are also very welcome.

Cllr Mike Ross, leader of Hull City Council, said: “The council and its partners are continuing to do all we can to help people through this crisis. Many people have received help already through the package of measures we put in place last autumn, and many more continue to seek support.”

“It is more important now than ever to pull together and help each other when we can. The rising costs of food, utilities and other essentials is something that is hitting many hard and many people will not have the budget for extras right now. However, I would ask anyone who can to add an extra item or two in with the weekly shop. Everything helps and the sort of items the food banks need really do make a difference.

“We have been clear whenever we have spoken about the cost of living crisis that what’s happening is completely unacceptable. We should not be in a position where it is necessary to call for donations to food banks. There is so much more that central government could and should do to address what is happening – that is where the power to effect real change lies”.

Paul Matson, CEO and Founder of Hull 4 Heroes, said; “In hard times the people of Hull have always pulled together and supported anyone who may be less fortunate than themselves. I believe they will do so again now.”

“Our local food providers are unfortunately needed now more than ever and are struggling to source the essential items they need. If the Hull community can help in any way, no matter how small, they could make a huge difference to someone else’s life.”

Donation points include:

North Bransholme Community Centre
The Paul Ingle Boxing Academy
Lothian Way
Hull HU7 5DD
Opening hours: 10am-12pm, Monday to Friday

East Lodge
Pearson Park
Hull HU5 2TQ
Opening hours: 10am to 3pm, Tuesday

Hull KR
Craven Park
Poorhouse Lane
Hull HU9 5HE
Opening hours: 10am to 2pm, Monday to Friday

St Stephens Management Suite
Ground floor level (near Tesco car park)
110 Ferensway
Opening hours: Monday to Saturday, 9am to 7pm
Sunday, 10.30am to 4.30pm

Freedom Centre
97 Preston Road
Hull HU9 3QB
Opening hours: Monday and Thursday, 8.30am to 5pm
Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday, 8.30am to 6pm

Hull 4 Heroes Drop in Centre
3rd Floor, Princes Quay
Opening hours: 10am to 2pm, Monday to Friday

Hull Guildhall
Main reception desk,
77 Lowgate,
Hull City Council HU1 2AA
Opening hours: 9am-5pm, Monday to Friday

All the food donation points and the locations for food providers in operation across the city can be found on interactive map here and you can get more information here

Have Your Say On The Future Of Hull’s Ancient Site

Residents can share their views on developing the South Blockhouse visitor attraction at two events later this month.

Taking place at Trinity Market, between 10.30am – 4pm on Friday 10 and Saturday 11 February, plans will be on display for residents and visitors to learn more about the site as well as providing their feedback on the proposals to create a new heritage visitor space that conserves and protects the South Blockhouse site for the future.

In December 2022, the plans were made publicly available for the first time at an event on Humber Street for residents in the surrounding area as well as available to view online.

The proposals will see the site completely transformed, with hard and soft landscaping framing the footprint of the South Blockhouse and majestic, ghostly structures rising from the ground to give a sense of the structure and scale of the original building.

This follows an 11-week archaeological dig between June and September 2022, which saw 120 volunteers working alongside Hull archaeologists to reveal almost 60 per cent of the monument. As well as allowing hundreds of visitors a rare glimpse of the magnificent structures hidden beneath the ground, the results from these explorations will help bring the history of the site back to life.

Councillor Paul Drake-Davis, Portfolio Holder for Regeneration, said: “I’m keen for residents to get involved and be part of the future of this historic site. The Council will listen to the feedback from residents and incorporate them into the plans that will tell the story and celebrate the site for us all to learn more about the local and national importance of the Scheduled Ancient Monument.”

A planning application for the proposals will be submitted at the end of February. It is expected that work will get underway this autumn.

Located on the east bank of the River Hull, the South Blockhouse is a Scheduled Ancient Monument of both national and local importance, with a rare cloverleaf design. Its construction was ordered by Henry VIII in 1541 to support military campaigns and to protect Hull as a vital port from internal and external threats, working as one element in a larger scheme of state-of-the art defences on the east side of the river.

The project is linked to Hull Maritime, a locally-led project funded by Hull City Council and The National Lottery Heritage Fund, a key cultural regeneration scheme in the heart of Hull’s city centre that will protect and celebrate 800 years of Hull’s maritime heritage.

The South Blockhouse Project has been made possible by feasibility funding from National Highways, who have Government funding to deliver benefits to communities above and beyond maintaining and operating England’s strategic road network. The project, worth around £1.25m in total, is being put forward for a further £1m in funding for the design and delivery.

National Highways manages four designated funds, allocated by the Government, to deliver benefits above and beyond building, maintaining and operating England’s strategic roads.

Have Your Say On Play Zones In Hull…

Hull City Council is seeking the views of residents to understand the community need and requirements for PlayZones in the city.

The PlayZone Programme is a new, exciting investment programme aimed at tackling inequalities in physical activity and access to facilities by funding community-led spaces.

Its aim is to focus on communities with the greatest need and will deliver new or refurbished safe and accessible mini pitches that will allow priority groups to be more active.

Primarily funded by the Football Foundation, PlayZones are high quality facilities offering space for recreational physical activity across sports such as football, netball, rugby, cricket, hockey or basketball.

PlayZones do not have to involve football as one of the key sports within their design. Whilst football will likely be the most popular choice at certain sites, there is a commitment for community engagement and interests to guide the process with opportunity to bring forward non-football PlayZones where applicable.

The Football Foundation has identified four groups facing the greatest inequalities in physical activity as part of this national programme which Hull is looking to benefit from.

These are:

  • Lower socio-economic groups
  • Women and girls
  • Disabled people and people with long-term health conditions
  • Ethnically diverse communities

Numerous locations within Hull have been earmarked as priorities in line with the criteria set by the Football Foundation and data available to the council. The consultation will help to identify the best locations meeting community need across the city.

PlayZones were part of the Parks and Open Spaces report that went to Hull City Council’s Cabinet on 28th November 2022 and now, the council wants to hear the views of residents.

Councillor Julia Conner, portfolio holder for parks and open spaces, said: “We would like to speak to a wide range of people in Hull and particularly anyone that would consider themselves as being in one of the above groups. We would love to have enough feedback to influence the programme in the future and ensure that any new or refurbished facility reflects what is needed in our communities.”

“We need to understand how many PlayZones might be required across the city, how people want to use them and for what activity, as well as which barriers they are experiencing.”

Face to face conversations are a key part in this process and community engagement will take place over the coming weeks, with dates and locations to be confirmed.

For now, you can provide your feedback on the council’s Peoples Panel here until Monday 27th February.

More information on the PlayZones Programme can be found here.