Grants give school funds a boost

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SCHOOL activity funds have been given a boost with grants totalling £800.

The funds have been awarded to Grange View First School in Widdrington Station to pay for swimming lessons and summer football coaching.

Parish councillors were told that the full cost of tuition and coach travel for swimming classes for pupils aged seven, eight and nine amounts to almost £7,000.

But while Parish Chairman Joe Sennett was eager to award almost the full amount, other councillors were more cautious.

Coun Sennett said: “The parish has supported this for years. We are surrounded by water, with the lakes and ponds, and they are like a magnet to kids. Children should be taught to be able to swim and be confident in the water.

“We have got the best part of £6,000 so why don’t we give that when we know where it is going? It will be ring-fenced for swimming.”

However, Coun David Baron said: “With having the precept cut and having to fund a by-election I don’t think we can afford anywhere near that amount of money.”

And Coun Shelly Willoughby added: “I would defer judgement on that type of amount. We could give £500, but to give further consideration to a larger amount would have to be looked at carefully.”

The council agreed a grant of £500 unanimously.

Members also decided to award £300, the full amount requested, for football coaching by professionals for Years 2, 3 and 4, provided that parents will not have to pay extra for their children to attend the sessions.