Unspent council cash is nearer £16million

AN ONGOING internal investigation has revealed this week that North Somerset Council has £16million unspent cash in its coffers.

AN ONGOING internal investigation has revealed this week that North Somerset Council has £16million unspent cash in its coffers.

Calls have been made for local groups to be given more control of how the cash, which comes from developers, is spent.

It was originally thought the figure was £12million, but Councillor David Pasley, who is looking into what has happened to the money from 106 planning agreements, revealed the new figure to the Weston & Somerset Mercury after a full council meeting on Tuesday.

He said: "It is probably nearer £16million. We are looking at the process 106 money goes through.


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"Town and parish councils have no idea how a 106 agreement is spent locally and it is council officers who take it upon themselves to spend the money.

"The worrying thing is that they have time limits and if the money is not spent it goes back to the developer, plus five per cent interest.

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"The working group will call for greater consultation with members of local groups and organisations."

The council's executive member for finance, Cllr Tony Lake, said during the meeting: "Earlier this year there was a detailed summary of 106 agreements.

"Since the May elections Cllr Pasley has been involved in a working group looking into 106 agreement money.

"I look forward to seeing his conclusions on those matters.

"Local members should have much more influence and be better informed about 106 agreements in their area."

The cash is collected from developers to be spent on creating infrastructure to go with houses.

Last week the Mercury revealed that £12million in developers' cash remains unspent from 800 section 106 agreements in place.

North Somerset Council has asked for it to be pointed out the cash was not 'hidden' as the figures can be found within council papers.

It is understood that a massive £4.42million remains earmarked for community use projects in Weston alone.

There is about £1.2m to spend on parks and open spaces, with a further £2m for highways, and local education services should benefit by £1.4m.

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