MALVERN town councillors face more tough choices after applications for grants exceeded its budget by more than 100 per cent.

Decisions over 18 applications totalling £10,115 will be taken at a meeting of the Council's grants committee next Wednesday.

Representatives from five organisations - Relate Worcestershire, Siblings UK, Malvern Hills Opera, 1017 (Malvern) Squadron of the Air Training Corps and Malvern Hills Homeless Young Adults Trust - have asked to speak at the meeting.

The total grants budget the Council has is £5,000, which is in addition to a separate arrangement with Malvern Hills Citizens Advice Bureau worth £9,754.

A 'points' system has been developed to grade applications and five groups share the top score of 45 points.

They are the Malvern Hills Brass Band, which has relied on collections to support its summer season of free open air concerts after losing its grant from Malvern Hills District Council, Malvern Hills Gym Competition Club, Malvern (Priory) Bowling Club, Malvern Rugby Football Club and MHHYAT's Foyer Project, the training and accommodation base in Spring Lane.

On 40 points are the Malvern ATC squadron and Malvern Ramblers Cricket Club, while Newtown Sports Boys FC is on 38.

The 2001 Autumn in Malvern Festival and the Langland Lions Sports Club share a score of 35. On 30 points are Malvern Hills Opera, Relate, National Association of Widows, U3A Short-mat Bowls Group and Worcester Samaritans.

Siblings Link and Twenty One Dance Club follow on 25 and on 10 is Rowallan House Residents Associations.

The current grant round is the last for this financial year.