Summer play schemes, railway station fencing, an arts festival and a tennis court refurbishment are among the diverse community projects directly funded by local councillors during the last financial year.
Councillors invested a total of £456,436.65 in their wards using their 2013/14 member budget grants, it was revealed at the latest Executive meeting.
The sum of £10,000 is allocated to each councillor at the beginning of the financial year to be used within a ward for community benefit.
A report before the meeting detailed the spending of all members over the last financial year, showing that 395 individual awards were made to 265 organisations.
The report showed an underspend of £310,564.70 which has been carried forward into the current financial year.
Cllr Eveleigh Moore Dutton, executive member for resources, said: “Members budgets have enabled members to be effective in their communities, to break logjams, to make things happen, to help good causes and to feel thoroughly useful and make a tangible contribution in their community.
“It is mostly match-funding so the money we give as members generates a whole lot more. I think it is a very good scheme.
“This report shows an underspend but please bear in mind there are spends pending. This money is required, and it is being used.”
Chester members spent a total of £96,363.32 in their communities. One award saw £13,000 allocated to resurface Westminster Park tennis courts.
In Ellesmere Port, members awarded £92,226.32 to local causes. A grant of £2,951 was given towards the first arts festival in conjunction with Trinity Church.
Northwich and Winsford members spent £160,188.93, which included an investment in excess of £15,000 into summer play schemes in Rudheath, Moulton and Winsford.
And rural members contributed £107,658.08 which included £500 for fencing at Frodsham Railway Station.
Cllr Ben Powell, Shadow finance spokesman, said: “I support member budgets but I do feel there is a need for greater scrutiny of how the money is spent.
“If you give money to a community group to buy equipment, how do you know that equipment has been purchased?
“I think that is a valid question when we are dealing with taxpayers’ money.”
Any community group, organisation or individual can apply to their local councillor for aid with funding for a project.