Programme is making a big difference

INITIATIVES in the borough inspired by prime minister David Cameron’s Big Society agenda have been praised for the positive impact they are making.

North Tyneside Council took its cue from the PM and set up its own Big Society programme to encourage residents, groups and businesses to do their bit for the borough.

The programme is backed up by a £100,000 investment fund, and so far that kitty has handed out grants to 29 community projects ranging from £50 to £10,000.

They include £9,100 paid out to Streetgames UK, £9,000 to Friends of Wallsend Parks, £4,650 for North Shields East End Youth and Community Centre and £1,890 for Whitley Bay Scouts.

Cabinet members were given an update on the programme at their latest meeting.

The council’s cabinet member for engagement and the environment, Pam McIntyre, pictured, of Whitley Bay’s St Mary’s ward, said: “It’s great to see the Big Society Programme flourishing in North Tyneside, encouraging residents to have a greater say and take responsibility in their communities.

“Now our aim is to provide even more opportunities for the borough’s residents to engage in public life by shaping the decisions that affect their lives and through volunteering.”