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Apathy over control of £1m Toothill Lottery fund
TOOTHILL residents will miss out on the chance to have a say on who will hold the purse strings to the area’s £1m Lottery jackpot.
It comes after only 11 people came forward as candidates for a new partnership group to run the Toothill Big Local, setup after the estate was named as being in the first 50 of 150 places in the country to receive funding from the Big Lottery Fund’s local trust programme in 2010.
In proposals approved at a meeting in January, a new committee of 11 members will take over the running of Toothill Big Local from the steering committee so the area can get access to the cash.
An election was due to be held if more than 11 candidates presented themselves, but despite advertising on the group’s website not enough people volunteered to require a ballot.
An anonymous whistleblower, who told the Adver in January how apathy and indecision had crippled the group up to now, spoke of their disappointment at the outcome.
They said: “Not enough people showed interest and anybody who nominated themselves is on the group. It simply wasn’t advertised.
“There is nobody from any charitable organisations working in the area, nobody from any of the schools in the area and no business people.”
The new partnership group will comprise Toothill residents Lisa Corcoran, Peter Egan, Iris Keeble, Ruth Kiddle, Chris Lockett, Tina Mackie, Livio Pavone, Jacqueline Parry and Brian Walton.
There are also two non-residents – Ian Baxter, a financial auditor, and Kareen Boyd, Croft School campaigner and former independent candidate for Old Town ward.
Paula Harrison, Swindon Council locality lead for West Swindon, said: “There was no requirement to hold elections as there were only 11 eligible nominations for 11 places.
“The group will organise their first meeting and at that meeting will, I expect, elect a chairman and possibly other positions.
“For Toothill residents more generally, Swindon Council will still support the open Toothill Big Local meetings which anyone interested in Big Local can attend.
“These will be on a monthly basis. People can find out about these meetings on the Toothill Big Local website.”
For more information visit www.toothillbiglocal.co.uk