Locality, locality, there's nothing like locality

BC has just stumbled across a rather interesting debate in the 'suggest topic' thread, and we thought it was worthy of a wider airing. The topic is locality funding, and the issue is inter-ward collaboration.

For those who aren't up on local government funding streams, here's some background:
A couple of years back (perhaps - can one of our resident experts confirm?), Lewisham Council set up a Locality Fund with the aim of 'supporting community engagement and initiatives in each [council] ward'.
The funding is worth £10,000 per ward per year, and is allocated based on ward councillors' recommendations after consultation with the local assemblies and through public meetings, surgeries and contact with local community groups and individuals.

This is, of course, a wonderful opportunity to address many of the relatively minor local issues which struggle to win the council's attention in the face of wider strategic priorities. It's also great to give local communities input into how their money is used.

The idea also raises some issues about notions of community and collaboration which BC thought were interesting.

The discussion on the 'Suggest Topic' thread focussed around the Brockley Max festival's attempts to fundraise through the Locality Fund. The organisers applied to three wards - Crofton Park, Ladywell and Brockley - and were turned down by Crofton Park on the basis that the event did not take place within the ward (according to the account on the thread - if anyone would like to provide BC with further detail on this, please do!). This is despite the fact that Jam Circus, a stalwart Max supporter and regular Max event host, lies well within the ward.

There are two issues to contemplate here - firstly, the extent to which wards could or should collaborate in funding cross-boundary priorities, and secondly, the question of where boundaries lie.
Tamsin made the point during the previous discussion that the Telegraph Hill ward, for example, is rather invidiously drawn up, spanning several distinct areas and lacking a clear high street or other focal point.

BC would also venture to suggest that sometimes it can be better to focus on developing one area as a 'destination', rather than trying to achieve the same thing in several areas and simply spreading the money and effort too thinly to create a critical level of momentum.

Edit: BC would be very interested to hear the views of local councillors and others involved in the allocation of locality funding, and those who have bid for locality funding. Please post in the comments section, below.