Shapps: New homes bonus could offer lifeline to local youth projects

Mr Shapps said that thanks to a new Government scheme where communities receive cash payments to spend as they see fit in return for giving the green light to housing development, local youth projects may also get the go ahead or existing facilities improved. In a boost for local campaigners he said this could be spent on new playgrounds, refurbished swimming pools or five a side football pitches if that is what the local community wants.

The Minister said that from Wanstead to Watton communities are calling out for new facilities for young people – but despite tight public finances a new five a side pitch doesn’t need to be a football fantasy thanks to the New Homes Bonus. Mr Shapps called on youth campaigners across the country to contact their Town Hall to see what plans their council has to use this new Government cash.

Mr Shapps believes this extra cash can also play an important part in reducing anti-social behaviour caused by teenagers having nothing to do or nowhere to go during school holidays, and urged councils to consult local residents on how this money could be used to tackle this problem.

Grant Shapps said:

"Up and down the country teenagers are calling out for more fun things to do and places to go to meet their friends. But with public finances so tight many communities have given up hope on the prospect of new facilities.

"But thanks to a new Government scheme where communities receive cash payments in return for building new homes many of these projects have a much needed lifeline. Communities themselves get to decide how this money is spent so if a lack of facilities for teenagers is a major problem then a playground or five a side football pitch could get the green light. Thanks to the New Homes Bonus a new five a side pitch doesn’t need to be a football fantasy if it’s what the community needs and wants.

"So I urge all local campaigners to get in touch with their council to explore what plans they have to use the proceeds of growth to meet local needs and whether it can be used to get some of these projects off the ground."

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