COUNCILLORS clashed over changes to the way civic money is handed to local charities and groups.

The Conservative-controlled Winchester City Council is streamlining the funding system to make it fairer, more transparent and efficient.

But Liberal Democrat councillors on the town forum were unhappy that it would lose control of dispersing funding.

Cllr Martin Tod said the town forum handed grants raised from the council tax payers in the city wards.

He said the forum should control its grants in the same way that parish council controlled their grants from the precepts raised locally.

Cllr Tod said councillors in the city do not tell people in Bishop's Waltham or Denmead how to spend parish council money and the reverse should not be the case.

His comments angered Conservative councillors including Cllr Rob Humby, deputy council leader said: "I'm very disappointed at Cllr Tod's remarks. It is out of order. Don't shake your head at me. It's sad."

Cllr Humby said the aim was not to take funding from the town forum but to "add value and achieve a fair process for everybody"

Tory colleague Eileen Berry accused the Lib Dems of being "political."

Lib Dem councillors Kelsie Learney said she had referred the changes to the council monitoring officer to see whether the changes would be legal.

A report to the forum revealed that under the new arrangements council grants would drop from £652,000 to £626,000 in 2019-20.

A new idea is to encourage charities to do crowdfunding on social media. The council would then match fund what had been raised privately.

Lib Dem groups leader questioned whether successful crowdfunding would lead the council to cut its own funding.

Susan Robbins, corporate head of engagement, said the crowdfunding would be aimed at capital projects and not the revenue funding that most civic grants cover.

The city council has six main recipients of its money: Trinity Centre, Citizens Advice, Winchester Live Theatre Trust, Unit 12 community space in Winnall Valley Road, the Nightshelter and Carroll Centre in Stanmore.