December 22 2013 Latest news:
By Matt Hunter
Friday, January 4, 2013
ALMOST a million pounds worth of cash for schools, community projects and housing is “gathering dust”, according to a council opposition leader.
More than £975,000 is waiting to be spent in mid Suffolk, it has been revealed.
Mid Suffolk District Council is responsible for £375,000 of the money and discussed the matter at a scrutiny meeting yesterday.
Suffolk County Council is sitting on more than £600,000 of developer cash for highways and schools for the district.
The money comes from Section 106 agreements which were introduced to improve the infrastructure surrounding new developments.
The county council’s money is allocated to projects including leisure facilities, school places and play equipment.
Leader of the opposition at Mid Suffolk, Andrew Stringer, said: “This money is there to be spent on infrastructure and community benefits, it should be out there working for the economy and not gathering dust.”
A spokesman for the county council said the majority of the money is being held for schools.
He said: “The county council is currently considering a number of locations for additional primary school places. Feasibility studies have been commissioned and, following wider consultation, these places should be available from September 2014.
“It is often the case that this funding only partly covers the total cost of delivering a major scheme and therefore it is held until other sources of funding can be secured and public consultation is completed.”
Mid Suffolk has more than £160,000 for new homes and almost £95,000 available for the development of open spaces in Stowmarket, Debenham and Fressingfield.
Stowmarket’s bus facilities have been allocated £80,000 while £20,000 is available for Claydon Community Centre.
A spokeswoman for Mid Suffolk said officers had been looking into the money at the meeting and the projects it is allocated to.