The Leader of Wealden District Council is Councillor Bob Standley. He will be pleased to answer any question you may have about Wealden District Council's policies, or other matters involving the Council, which you think are of interest to people living, working or visiting Wealden.
To ask your question please email AskTheLeader@wealden.gov.uk .
Councillor Standley is the Conservative Leader of the Cabinet on Wealden District Council and has represented Wadhurst since 2004.
Specific inquiries about particular services such as planning applications, licensing or accommodation should be directed to the appropriate department or by emailing email@example.com.
We will try to respond within ten working days of receiving your question and your question and the Leader's reply will then be posted on the website. Please provide your name, we don't need your address. If we think the question is inappropriate for publication we will contact you by email to say why.
And don't forget: Specific problems and incidents can be reported through our Report It facility.
For information on any of the Ask The Leader questions listed please contact the Communications Officer on PR@wealden.gov.uk .
Ask The Leader questions and answers are listed by month
Q. Dear Councillor Standley,
Following the release of the Transformation Programme report and staff briefings by the Management team, I have been asked by Unison members to express our concerns over the rejection of item 92 in the report, namely the introduction of car parking charges.
Questions were put to the Chief Executive regarding the evidence used behind the rejection of this proposal, and he reported that this was linked to a petition collected by local businesses a few years back. At present this service costs in the region of £360,000 to run, and income generated by fines etc generated around £136,000, leaving an estimated deficit to the council of £224,000. This is not taking into account regeneration work which is of need to the car parks.
The estimated revenue generated in the report is £1,000,000 - almost a third of the possible revenue we are likely to be required to save as a council. We are aware that these arguments are not new, but feel that the Council, as an organisation, has not given the general public the true facts in this area.
The aforementioned petition was collected by local business who have a vested interest in keeping this free service, have easy access to collection of such signatures, but failed to mention that the Wealden council tax payer is already paying for this service, if they are a car owner or not. We are of course supplying free parking to non residents of Wealden as well.
We are of the opinion that if Wealden residents were given the full facts; namely that they are already paying for this 'free service' some residents of course will not use the service, and that without the revenue this will generate other services will be drastically affected then they would understand the need for such change. Particularly when we can find no other council in the country who does not charge for car parking, including our joint working partner Rother. We are constantly told to look to other councils for evidence of good working practices and it has to be asked what is the difference in this area?
This is one area where Councillors can show true leadership by actively supporting the organisation in generating revenue, protecting services and the function of the Council. We urge you to reconsider this proposal before extreme damage is done to the services this council can provide to the public it serves.
Failing that, it would be good to communicate to staff directly the reason for this decision, and what evidence was used to come to its rejection.
Unison Branch Secretary
A. Dear Simon,
Thank you for your recent "Ask the Leader" question. The subject of off street car parking charges has indeed been the subject of much debate at WDC over many years.
As you know I have been asked the question at ECG on more than one occasion. The subject of car park charges was investigated in great depth by the Select Committee which reported in October 2004 and recommended that charges were not introduced. This advice was accepted by Cabinet in November 2004.
As you are aware although there has been no proposal to introduce car park charges since 2004 there was a question in the budget consultation in December 2007. The response to that question was almost entirely against any imposition of charges. The opposition included the petition of 21,000 names but also negative comments from Parish and Town Councils and other organisations.
There has always been concern that the imposition of charges would have a detrimental effect on the economies of our market towns. The economic slow-down in recent years has meant that many businesses are struggling and I would not wish to follow a course of action that would endanger those businesses and the jobs that they offer which are essential to the local economy.
It is correct that we are supplying parking to non residents and I would wish to encourage residents from outside Wealden to use our shops and businesses. I do not agree that "extreme damage" is being caused to the services WDC provides. The Transformation Programme will deliver the changes that are required to balance the services the community require with the cost of providing them. The Council has and will continue to offer value for money.
As previously stated I have given my view with regard to car parking charges at Full Council, Cabinet, Scrutiny, and ECG so I do believe those views and the reasons behind them are well known within the Council and the Community. Members have had to and will continue to make difficult decisions and will show the necessary leadership for what is right for the whole District.
Leader Wealden District Council
Q. In last week's Courier it stated "the council's move to a single site headquarters will save another £350,000 a year" and the £6 million refurbishment ( seems to me a colossal sum to provide luxurious surroundings) will be paid for from the eventual sale of the Crowborough site".
Then on another page "Wealden District council has offered the site at Pine Grove to the community centre project at a peppercorn rent"
What is the truth?
Finally it seems to me that Crowborough, being on the outskirts of the district is losing out big time and an existing example of this can already be seen where part of Crowborough's centre roadway has been tiled whereas in Heathfield the complete pathway on both sides of the road have been improved.
Part of this blocking on the entrance to the car park in Crowborough is already deteriorating and presumably will not be repaired due to the cuts.
A. Dear Mr Scott
The move to combine into a single headquarters building will indeed save at
least £350,000 a year. The move has been debated for many years and the
final decision was taken in 2008.In recent years the Council has made
significant savings on its overheads and the recent reductions in public
spending make a single HQ even more sensible given the reduced staffing
numbers over the next 3 to 4 years.
The Pine Grove site is the whole area from Mill Lane down to Morrisons. The
library will remain and only part of the site is being let at a peppercorn
rent is for the proposed community centre.
Research done at the time the move was being debated stated that the
economic input from a re-developed Pine Grove would be greater than the
I can assure you that the offices in Hailsham will not be "luxurious" but
I will pass on your comments with regard the paving which is the
responsibility of the highways department at East Sussex County Council.
Crowborough does not lose out by being on the outskirts and as the largest
town in Wealden its economic vitality is important to the Council.
I hope this gives you the information you requested.
Leader Wealden District Council
Q. Can you confirm that under the WDC transformation programme that it is the intention of the council only to locate staff at the locations agreed by the cabinet at their meeting on 13 October and not to locate any WDC at the WRAG resource centre at Horam?
A. Dear Paul
The position with regard to the resource centre has not been decided. Whilst it is unlikely this area will be used while the Hailsham offices are being refurbished, I cannot give a definite answer until all the other arrangements are confirmed. Once those arrangements are confirmed, a decision will be made.
I understand one of the options is to return the area to residential use. Cllr Howell will ensure SHRG/WRAG are kept informed.
Q. I live in Five Ashes, a village that has only one problem. It is spoilt by signs put up by the council. I understand the council wants to put more flashing signs up.
I live in Leeds Lane where the main road traffic is horses and dog walkers.
You have this year put up roads signs. It would be nice if the council mends the holes in the roads. These are dangerous.
I bet you have signs that you can put up saying beware of holes.
Thank you for inquiry. I have contacted East Sussex County Council who are responsible for roads including signs and repairing potholes. They explain that the vehicle-activated flashing light is needed to remind motorists about the new 30mph speed limit in Five Ashes. These signs have been very effective in slowing down the traffic and it will be erected after consultation to identify the best position. Speeding traffic is a common complaint from residents across the District and many areas campaign for these flashing indicators. However I agree that sometimes the number of signs on our roads is sometime excessive and there is a risk that the important warning signs get lost amongst the clutter.
The County Council are aware of the number of potholes and inspect all our roads on a regular basis to ensure they are safe for everyone who uses them. They welcome reports from the public about specific problems, such as potholes. Anyone can report a pothole or fault in the road by contacting the East Sussex Highways Contact Centre on 0345 60 80 193 or through its website:
The severe weather earlier in the year caused many problems and more money has been allocated to mend the damage. I am sure you have noticed the significant number of road works as these repairs are carried out.
Q.Given that autumn is just around the corner, can you please inform the council tax payers of Crowborough what action you are taking now to avoid a repeat of the farce we had last winter regarding the snow?
Roads and pavements were left uncleared and ungritted for days/weeks and the only response we got from local authorities was the blame game. Crowborough Town Council made it clear from the start that they were not going to do anything and Wealden just blamed ESCC. Perhaps you could get your Transformation Support Worker referred to below to improve the methods of working so all the local authorities can get together and rise to the challenge and accept the responsibility of keeping the county and particularly Crowborough moving in bad weather.
When it's been decided who is responsible for what, perhaps it could be published with contact numbers of those concerned so that we can notify when roads and pavements need clearing. If CTC, Wealden and ESCC are saying that they are not going to do anything at all, then they should be honest and say so. However that does raise the issue of what exactly are we paying our council tax for if councils can just decide that they are not going to provide certain services that we have already paid for in advance.
A.Dear Mr Homewood,
Thank-you for your enquiry regarding preparations for keeping roads and footpaths clear during the coming winter.
Following last winter's exceptionally severe weather - the worst for 30 years - East Sussex County Council has carried out a comprehensive review of its gritting responsibilities for roads and footpaths.
The County Council has recently updated me as to some of likely changes which I am happy to share with you. This includes a review of the gritting bin policy, improved communications with the public about County Council policies including gritting routes, grit bin maps, contact details and news updates. It is also looking at providing large salt storage bags at key pedestrian locations during severe icy conditions and closer working with district councils like ourselves with regard to joint working on snow clearance and salt storage.
As we wait to see what County's final recommendations are, I can assure you Wealden is involved in a number of initiatives with neighbouring councils and the County to provide more effective and efficient services. When our services are affected by bad weather - as in Crowborough last winter when we could not get some of our refuse vehicles out on the roads - staff were redeployed alongside town council staff clearing car parks and the pavements in our main towns.
I hope this winter is not as severe last year, but in the event of extreme weather conditions Wealden District Council will work with other authorities wherever possible to help maintain essential services and keep the local economy moving.
Q. Councillor Standley
I have just read the article on page 8 of this week's Courier regarding angry residents wanting answers over the four storey nursing home being built by Care UK in Beacon Road, Crowborough. I can well understand their anger. I am resident in Crowborough and have wondered about the imbecility of allowing the erection of such a tall and imposing structure - as is clearly evident just from a casual view from passing through Beacon Road - in such a prominent location. The size of the building - and its proposed use - are so obviously completely inappropriate for this location. Your Planning Department quite clearly are unfit for purpose and the senior executives should be sacked.
I have great hopes for the new Government and their initial efforts look extremely promising. When are we going to see local politicians follow their example, instead of subboardinating themselves to non elected local Government officials.
A.Dear Mr Sawyer
Thank you for your email with regard to the new nursing home being built in Beacon Road and I am aware of comments in the press.
I am sorry you feel that this development project has not in your opinion been handled correctly. I can however assure you the planning application was subject to due process and a very full consultation exercise, involving the usual public notices, press notices and individual letters to 44 properties in the area which went well beyond the statutory minimum consultation requirements. It is noted that your property is some way from the site, and would not have been directly affected, and therefore not on the extended mailing list.
The application was processed and determined by the area Planning Committee ( North ) PCN after a full and proper debate of its design merits, and the Council's design expert was engaged in assessing the project and was fully supportive of the finalised design. The applicant undertook extensive pre-application publicity for the scheme and held a public exhibition so that local residents could understand what was being proposed and ask any questions they may have. Officers also had a range of pre-submission meetings at which the local Councillor was present with the applicant to develop the final design. All the members of the planning committee, which as you are probably aware consists of elected Councillors, undertook a full site visit and received a full briefing from planning officers. Officers would have updated Councillors on the various representations made to the Planning Authority from individuals and the Town Council to ensure Councillors were acquainted with all of the facts before making their decision.
The scheme was ultimately approved by a majority vote of members of PCN, and design was fully debated in the process.
Officers also attended at the ground work stage of the building, to check the building slab levels and setting out, to ensure the finalised building would accord to the approved drawings - I can confirm it does.
The current approved, architect designed,development is at the initial build stages on site, mainly comprising a steel frame and some elements of the flooring. No final external finishes have been applied yet. It is perhaps premature to criticise its appearance on the basis of the work to date. The ultimate development will comprise of some innovate contemporary design features, including 'green' live vegetation walling panels.
I would also point out that such a development will result in the creation of much needed employment opportunities and assist in regeneration of the area.
I hope the above assures you that the council has showed due diligence regarding this development.
Q. Councillor Standley,
Suggest you have a read of the job description of your Transformation Programme Support Officer currently on your website. You could not ask for a better example of total gobbledygook or of the 'non-jobber' as described by Eric Pickles. I cannot make head nor tail of this job description and I think that the Campaign for Plain English bods would throw a fit if they saw it.
Is this really the sort of thing that local councils should be spending taxpayers money on? Gave us a laugh though.
A. Dear Mr Hills,
I would like to explain the reasons for the job of Transformation Programme Support Officer. Wealden District Council launched its Transformation Programme 18 months ago to examine better ways for the Council to operate whether by improving the methods of working, sharing services with other public bodies or outsourcing to the private sector.
The programme has already delivered substantial savings and our aim is to make further changes in response to the Budget announcements and the results of the Government's Comprehensive Spending Review due to report in October. This will require making further reductions in the budget of between £2.5 - £3m. Ensuring these changes are completed successfully is in my view a correct role for the Council and the temporary post is certainly not a "non-jobber" as you suggest.
The Council does try to write all job opportunities, and indeed other documents, in plain English. I agree the wording could have been simplified but I am pleased to say we have had a good response to the advert.
Q. Dear Sir
I have been trying to get to the bottom of an issue that every time I see it annoys me. There is a stretch of tegular paving in the highway outside Waitrose. After the spell of bad weather a couple of months ago potholes appeared which were given temporary repairs by the Highways department with tarmac. It looks absolutely awful.
I have spoken to Brian Young at Highways who advises that they will undertake permanent repairs with the tegular paving but cannot give any sort of timescale and they will not undertake individual repairs of this nature unless there are others to do. Mr Young also said that it would not have been their preference to put tegular paving in the road because of its lack of durability especially in bad weather .I do fail to understand why the Highways department don't keep a stock of this type of paving to do repairs without having to wait for other similar areas to be repaired.
I have been trying to ascertain who was responsible for this decision in light of its obvious disadvantages and consequences ie tegular paving with tarmac inserts looks worse than plain tarmac. The Town Council say that it is nothing to do with them as do the highways department. I do get frustrated with the sea of bureaucracy and lack of accountability for decisions of this nature.
Are you able to assist at all?
A. Dear Verity,
Thank you for your question regarding the tegular blocks. I agree that the tarmac repair looks unsightly although I am also aware of the huge amount of work East Sussex County Council has been doing to repair and re-surface our highways as a result of the 30,000 + potholes caused by the cold winter.
The road surface is a County responsibility so I cannot promise when the restoration of the blocks will take place but have forwarded your email to the Highways Authority which I trust will reinforce the messages you have already sent.
Q. Dear Sir,
What are the implications of the removal of regional housing targets on the Council's activity and timescale for producing the Local Development Framework?
A. Dear Mr Evershed,
Thank-you for your timely question.
In the light of the Government's recent announcement of its plans to "rapidly abolish Regional Spatial Strategies," Wealden District Council is carefully considering the implications for its emerging Core Strategy and local Development Framework. The targets for housing numbers that were set out in earlier versions of the South East Plan have been overtaken by events. The Council has consistently argued that any new housing needs to be supported by adequate infrastructure whilst also respecting local environmental constraints. Our officers are preparing a report for the 7 July meeting of the Cabinet Local Development Framework sub-committee setting out the possible implications for the LDF. The agenda for the meeting of the Cabinet LDF sub-committee will be available five working days before the meeting.
Q. Does Wealden have any plans to put a leisure centre near Polegate or some other facilities for the 12-16 age range. The children are often getting into trouble for being a nuisance, but there are few facilities for that age range especially girls. The parks are up to 11/12.
A. Dear Jo,
Thank-you for your enquiry.
Play equipment tends to cater for children up to 12 years of age. Above this age, consultation with young people is the best way to find out what facilities they would like. In some cases young people may just want a place to go where they can hang out. Whilst the provision of play and youth facilities in the Polegate area is the responsibility of the town council and other agencies such as the Youth Development Service, Wealden District Council does encourage activities by working in partnership with Towns and Parishes.
In parts of Wealden, specific activities for girls such as cheerleading/ street dance is proving very popular. Many of these activities are provided as after school clubs at schools/colleges. The Wealden Active Play team are also able to coordinate some outreach activities where young people have identified what they would like to do. For more information regarding the Active Play team, they can be contacted on 0771 777 6788.
Wealden District Council is able to offer support to town and parish councils by giving advice on consultation and helping to identify funding opportunities for activities for young people.
There are no current plans to build a leisure facility in Polegate although the provision of Leisure is currently under review with a report coming to the Council in the summer.
If you would like any further information please contact our, firstname.lastname@example.org
Q. Dear Mrs. Doodes,
Today is St George's Day, and a good day to put my question to you. Why, on your web survey site when asked about ethnicity, you ask which group do I belong to?
You give a choice of:
Asian or Asian British
Black Or Black British
Chinese or other ethnic group
Of course I ticked "Chinese or other ethnic group".
I live in England, my nationality is English. I am very proud to be English despite of what is being done in our name by our politicians. I do not appreciate my nationality being suppressed by the government, local government the EU or political correctness.
I think it inappropriate that you have to ask about ethnicity in the first place. Everyone should be treated equally.
So if it has to be asked, how about English British, Mrs Doodes? I think there are a lot of people in England who want to keep their identity, as do all the other people mentioned in your list above and I do not blame them at all for wanting to hold on to their ethnic back ground, I certainly.
I wonder if Wealden District Council will be flying the St George's Flag today Mrs Doodes, what do you think?
Happy St George's Day Mrs Doodes and to everyone at Wealden District Council, where ever they come from.
A. Dear Mr Cooper,
I am sorry if the questions on our Equality Monitoring Form have upset you. We ask users of our services to answer these questions so we can see if there is any discrimination in our services towards people from different races or religious beliefs, or to those with disabilities.
Only by monitoring such information can we make sure we are being fair to everyone who is entitled to use our services. I believe fairness is important, and agree with you that everyone should be treated equally. This Council needs to make sure this is the case. All the information we gather is treated in the strictest confidence and not referred back to any individual.
I must thank you for your St George's Day greetings. I am pleased to tell you the Flag of St George was flying above our offices in Hailsham and Crowborough on 23 April.
Q. Hi. Can you tell me why the council let people that don't care for their gardens into houses/flats with gardens?
I was under the impression that it was in the rules and regulations of the council that the gardens have to be clean and maintained, so why isn't something done about it ?
These people should be moved into accommodation without gardens and make way for families that do want gardens. Also, when the gardens are unattended by occupiers, why do the council have to take it out of their budget -our taxpayers' money - to clear it? Why aren't these people made to dispose of their own mess, or at least billed for the disposal of their mess?
A. Dear Carole,
Thank you for your inquiry. The tenancy agreement for every Wealden tenant includes a requirement to keep the garden tidy and cultivated, and also not to use the garden for storage. We do try to adopt reasonable standards in our interpretation of this as not everyone is an enthusiastic or able gardener.
When we receive comments about gardens, we often find that the garden in question does not belong to a tenant, but someone who is now private owner. In these cases, we do not have enforcement powers as a landlord; although our colleagues in public health, environmental protection or indeed planning enforcement may be able to take action. It would help us if you feel there is a problem, to get in touch with one of our housing officers, who can be contacted on 01323 443365 or by emailing email@example.com.
Where we do need to take action to clear up a tenant's garden, either by engaging people to clear the garden or going to Court for enforcement action, we always seek to recover costs from the tenant.
Q. My council tax bill has been stolen. Well, it must have, as normally I'd have had it by now. Now I think it was by a Dutch man, well he's started stealing my council tax.
Hopefully now I have your attention. I do not like the fact that Wealden are handing MY money to the people of Holland. You use TNT now for 2nd class mail deliveries. They are Dutch owned.
We have a perfectly good functioning Post Office, which is British and employs in excess of 600 Wealden residents, who have seen you going away from Royal Mail, after the recent Council Tax Notices. We only got about 20% of total addresses and thought then rest would turn up later in the week. Three weeks later and they still haven't, that's worse than any service Royal Mail would ever dream of selling. Surely in times of recession we should be supporting British business, even if the price is not as competitive, the service certainly is.
I also hear the Council staff are not getting a 1% pay rise as promised and budgeted for, but the council tax is still being increased! Please could you explain this and how you expect your staff to pay the increase to the council tax when in effect being paid less, bearing in mind your supposedly making savings using TNT!
So 600 Royal Mail voters and in excess of 400 Wealden staff wondering what you are doing with are council tax money and will vote accordingly.
I still have yet to receive my Council Tax Bill and someone send me one, please. 1st Royal Mail at least I know I'll get it.
A. Dear Mr Vince,
Thank-you for raising these points. The reason why the Council has decided to allocate its contract for second class mail to the TNT is because it will result in savings of at least £20,000 a year. The benefits of these savings will be passed on to Council Tax payers, like yourself, in the future. However, if the service does not meet the agreed delivery obligations, we will consider making new arrangements.
The Council has embarked on number of initiatives to keep any council tax rise as low as possible in the future, including moving to a single office site. I am unwilling to be drawn in to any debate about staff wages as this is a matter between the Council and its employees.
Q. Dear Mrs Doodes
When is the rubbish that has been laying along the A26 for months going to be tackled? I sometimes have overseas visitors from civilised European countries who can't understand the mindset that allows our rural environment to deteriorate in this way.
The Council are plainly failing in this duty and what is being done to raise the will and frequency of dealing with this? Do residents have to resort to Abatement Orders?
A. Dear Mr Hunter
Thank you for your enquiry regarding the presence of litter on the A26. The Council takes this issue very seriously and targets its resources to clear the strategic routes across the District at frequent intervals. Our schedules were disrupted due to the severe weather during December and January and, as a result, the gap between visits has been slightly longer than normal. This road was previously litter picked at the end of November 2009 and was litter picked again earlier this month.
We have to combat the attitudes of some elements of the general public who feel it is acceptable to throw litter from their vehicles to spoil our highways. Changing these attitudes is a national issue and, despite repeated campaigns and occasionally prosecutions of offenders, these attitudes do not seem to change.
This does not affect our commitment to try to keep our roads and verges clear of litter. Wealden District Council spends a significant sum of money each year removing litter (almost £12 for every household) and will continue to prioritise its resources where they are most effective.
Q. Dear Mrs Doodes
Having seen your replies to previous concerns of residents I can see that it is very easy to hide behind a semi standard statement by saying that ESCC are responsible for the gritting and clearance of our paths and roads, but I would ask the members of WDC (as our elected representatives) what are they doing to promote the safety of its citizens.
Do you make any representations to ESCC on our behalf? Why is the Duty of Care ignored when it suits? You must be aware of the large increase in broken bones, particularly to senior citizens being treated by our hospitals thus putting more strain on financial resources for the NHS. I witnessed several people falling over in the town centre.
Whilst WDC may not be responsible for the inadequate gritting it is far too easy to blame some other department.
Please do something to assist the population for a change; get out and away from your offices and find out from the public what is really needed.
Incidentally, I and others were unable to get out or out road for nearly a week and only then because the residents cleared the road.
A.Dear Mr Mee.
I am sure I speak for every Wealden District Councillor when I say that we are concerned about the safety of our residents and take seriously what can be done to ensure that they suffer no serious injuries.
To this extent we have been able to re-deploy our refuse and recycling teams to clear pavements in the town centres of the district when they have been unable to make collections. With the agreement of East Sussex County Council they have been using sharp sand to help improve the grip on the pavements.
I am also pleased to report that after last weekend's snowfall, our office staff in Vicarage Lane, Hailsham, volunteered to help colleagues in our grounds maintenance team clear snow from car parking spaces to free up more parking for the town.
East Sussex County Council's current Winter Service policy for keeping roads open can be found here. When I have been contacted about problems with gritting I have made sure that the local County Councillor(s) are made aware of the individual's concerns. As County Councillors, they have the votes on the relevant authority to make change happen. But whatever part of local government you serve, the problem all too often remains one of having to decide which services are the most essential for all sections of the community.
Does the public want pay for an expansive fleet of gritting equipment which may only be used for a few weeks every five years? Such investments make sense in other countries where extreme continental weather patterns are the norm but, perhaps, not in temperate Britain.
When we do get caught up in the extremes of weather, we all need to do what we can to help.
Q. Dear Mrs Doodes,
Having just completed the questionnaire on the Budget 2010/11 and Corporate Plan 2010/13 Consultation.
I was most concerned that question No. 5 of the budget paper read as follows, "Promoting arts and culture, giving grants to voluntary organisations such as Citizens Advice Bureaux".
Whilst I am sure arts and culture are extremely worthwhile projects, I hardly think that they should be lumped in with The Citizens Advice Bureaux. I for one would certainly have given a different assessment if these two categories had been kept apart from each other.
A. Dear Mr Pask,
To begin with, I would like to thank you for taking part in our Budget and Corporate Plan consultation. As a council we want to make the right decisions for the people for Wealden and, by taking the time to tell us your views, you are playing a vital part of that process.
You raise a good point about categorisation of Promoting Arts and Culture alongside Citizens Advice. Both are eligible for support through long term service level agreements under our Community Grants scheme. This is a way of ensuring medium term support for organisations over a three year period. I believe Citizens Advice is currently receiving £146,000 a year from Wealden through this scheme. Community Grants are also available for capital works and smaller on-off projects.
We are called on to support a wide variety of very worthy facilities and services for the local community and this can make providing useful categories for a consultation like this a challenge. It can sometimes be helpful to see how the money has been spent in the past.
I understand how this particular selection has caused you difficulty and we will reword this question when we next consult on the Budget.