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'Significant sum owed to town is in county vaults'

By Cornish Guardian  |  Posted: September 07, 2012

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A NEWQUAY Cornwall councillor has slammed the council for refusing to openly discuss the allocation of Section 106 money in the resort.

Geoff Brown says the town is owed a "significant amount" of cash, which at the moment is just sitting in the county vaults.

Section 106 money is paid by developers under planning law to offset any impact their developments might have on infrastructure such as roads, parks and schools.

At a full council meeting on Tuesday, Mr Brown challenged key members to set up regular meetings between local members and officers.

He said: "A substantial sum of money has been accumulated and there seems to be a reluctance to spend it to benefit the local community. By talking to people locally, the local councillors are well placed to identify key areas of open space which will benefit from additional funding and I am concerned that the money does not remain in the county vaults when it was intended to enhance the local area. We need a robust system to prioritise this support and get projects completed."

But his request was refused in a move that Mr Brown later described as "hugely frustrating".

He told the Cornish Guardian: "There is a significant amount of 106 money held centrally by Cornwall Council which has been paid in good faith by developers to enhance public open spaces within local communities. To withhold these funds is to deny local people the opportunity to make real improvements to their local environment and I will continue to seek ways to get this money released to enhance our county as was initially intended."

● An investigation by this newspaper in April last year revealed that £2.5 million of 106 money had disappeared into a "black hole" at Cornwall Council. The discovery was made using the Freedom of Information Act and led to widespread criticism of the council.

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  • Fistral20  |  September 10 2012, 8:18AM

    I'm waiting for a response from Cornwall Council on this very issue. If it's unsatisfactory, the next option will be to contact the Local Government Ombudsman, a procedure that Councillor Brown will be fully aware of.

  • Phil_lip  |  September 07 2012, 11:51PM

    What about a public committee with people from all walks of life, that are chosen by the local people and only have their intentions to heart. Oh wait a minute, that is what a local council and its elections are meant to be.....

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  • Truro_Staffer  |  September 07 2012, 1:55PM

    Of course local councillors knows where to spend it best, give it them as they 'talk' to local people. They won't use it for benefit for themselves or their mates at all. Make the process transparent I say.

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  • Phil_lip  |  September 07 2012, 11:39AM

    Mr Brown you will find they have already spent it and you need to bring them to account, it is time the overpaid Lavery was charged with criminal negligence of public money or possibly fraud in deceiving contractors, local people and national government on the prurpose and propriety of 106 public money.