Funding that county councillors can use to support local projects could be halved, according to budget proposals for 2024/25.

Currently all 78 county councillors are granted £10,000 a year to allocate to local projects that support the social, economic or environmental wellbeing of their local area.

Recent recipients have included the Peabody Trust, DENS, the Ware Arts Centre, the Sunnyside Rural Trust and an appeal by the West Hertfordshire Teaching Hospitals.

Budget plans have been drawn-up that could see the value of the county council’s members’ locality budget’ scheme halved.

That would mean councillors having an annual ‘locality budget’ of £5,000 instead of £10,000 – and the overall amount available falling from £780k to  £390k.

The council’s budget proposals – known as the ‘integrated plan’ – recognise that this may have a "negative impact" on communities, as funds are often used "to support local activities which may not receive other sources of funding".

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But they stress that the move has been benchmarked against other authorities – with the proposed lower funding in line with other local authorities.

Executive member for adult care, heath and wellbeing Cllr Tony Kingsbury says that the "difficult decision" reflects the council’s financial position.

He said: “Despite strong financial management of the council  it is very challenging for ourselves and other councils in the years ahead.

“We have had to look at savings of £46m as well as £13m of reserves.

“There are lots of things we have had to look at as part of that and have to take difficult decisions  to deliver a balanced budget.”

Cllr Kingsbury stresses that aside from the members’ locality budget, the council’s adult care services alone spend around £16m a year through the voluntary and community sector.

Hertfordshire County Council has been running the members locality budget scheme since 2009.

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In addition to the members locality budget, each county councillor also has access to a highways locality budget.

This is an annual programme which allows councillors to directly fund highway maintenance and improvement schemes, in consultation with residents and communities.

In the 24/25 budget proposals, just over £6m has been allocated to the scheme.