TWO local councils have 'tapped' up some council funding to help an important community transport project.

Sampford Courtenay Parish Council and North Tawton Town Council have combined forces to secure money from the Town and Parish (TAP) Fund to support Okehampton and District Community Transport Group's ring and ride service. The two councils presented a cheque for £1,250 to the group on May 28 in Sampford Courtenay.

Devon County Council have set up the joint TAP fund to encourage parishes to work more closely together. Grants are available for parishes if they can show they are working in partnership together.

Sue Wonnacott, transport group co-ordinator, said: 'Funding like this is a big deal for us.

'Our funding is increasingly drying up from sources we have traditionally used. So now we are scratching around for other sources of revenue.

'I have been here five years and we are now busier than ever.

'There is just an increasing number of people needing our door to door services, and due to the rural spread of people we help, we have a lot of "dead miles" to pay for ourselves and administrative costs to organise pick up times and things.

'We get a lot of support from several of our parish councils and councillors in the area, and some we need to open the eyes of still, but this funding is crucial for us and we appreciate the support from Sampford Courtenay and North Tawton.'

Grants may be for capital or revenue costs, or for a new service or project.

The new fund is a trial launched by the county council and managed locally by West Devon Borough Council and Torridge District Council.

The county council is providing one pound for every elector in each district and Torridge and West Devon top up this amount by ten pence per elector.

Applications will only be accepted from two or more councils working in partnership. Registered charities, social enterprises, voluntary and not-for-profit community groups can also apply through their town or parish council.