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Vattenfall cash to benefit Herne Bay

Hampton Car Park, Herne BayCompensation of £40,000 paid to the city council by offshore windfarm developer Vattenfall is being allocated to the Herne Bay Area Member Panel Opportunities Fund to be spent on projects in the town.

The compensation was paid because Vattenfall’s windfarm work at Hampton car park has overrun, reducing the number of car parking spaces and blocking access to the beach as the busy summer season approaches.

Each of the council’s four Area Member Panels (AMPs) has £15,000 in 2015/16 to allocate to community projects that promote or improve the economic, social or environmental wellbeing of the respective panel area or its residents.

The panels look at proposals suggested by councillors, local residents and community groups and decide which they want to fund, either in full or in part.

As a result of the Vattenfall money, the Herne Bay Area Member Panel Opportunities Fund now has £55,000 to spend during 2015/16.

Chairman of the council’s Regeneration and Property Committee, Cllr Ben Fitter, said: “Herne Bay residents have been inconvenienced by the work at Hampton car park, and so it is only right that we return this compensation payment to them.

“The Herne Bay Area Member Panel is the most efficient and transparent platform for doing this. We have already increased the panel’s fund by £5,000, and this further, substantial increase will be of huge benefit to the town and local people.”

Chairman of the Herne Bay Area Member Panel, Cllr Andrew Cook, said: “It’s wonderful news that we have this additional funding available. We’d love to see community groups who haven’t applied before coming forward with projects that can make a big difference to the town, but who just need some funding to make it happen.

“We look forward to discussions about how the money can be best spent. I hope lots of residents and groups will come along to panel meetings to play their part in our decision making.”

AMP Opportunities Fund money can be carried over into future financial years should no viable projects come forward this year.

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