Yankalilla councillors to offer allowance funds to community groups

HELP OUT: District Council of Yankalilla elected member Simon Rothwell is encouraging his fellow councillors to donate this year's legislative increases of their allowances to the council's Community Grants Fund. Photo: Michael Simmons.
HELP OUT: District Council of Yankalilla elected member Simon Rothwell is encouraging his fellow councillors to donate this year's legislative increases of their allowances to the council's Community Grants Fund. Photo: Michael Simmons.

The impact of COVID-19 has been felt by many community groups and clubs all over the world, and the District Council of Yankalilla's elected members want to reduce that strain locally however they can.

Councillor Simon Rothwell brought forward an idea at the May council meeting encouraging his fellow elected members to donate this year's legislative increases of their allowances to the council's Community Grants Fund.

"It's a legislated thing, so we can't stop getting it, but once we get it we could actually commit to giving it towards our council's community grants," Cr Rothwell said.

"It's completely (each councillor's) choice. I'm not forcing anybody to do this, it's just something I thought would be a good gesture for the community."

He said it aligned with financial sacrifices some council staff were making, such as the senior executive staff not taking their entitled increases for the 2020-21 financial year.

Community Grants Fund applications are assessed by a panel before being put to the elected members for a final vote on which clubs receive the grants.

Cr Rothwell said this process would allow elected members the chance to have their say on where their entitlement would end up in the community.

The idea was put to a vote at the council meeting and every councillor supported the motion except Alistair Christie, who said he would simply prefer to donate to local charities instead of the Community Grants Fund.

"I'm happy to commit to giving money - indeed, I've already given away far more than (the allowance increase) in response to COVID-19 to, for example, RSPCA and the Salvos," he said.

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