Concern over where £500,000 Radstock pledge is being spent
Radstock Town Council has raised concerns about the way Bath and North East Somerset Council is spending the £500,000 pledged towards regeneration in the town.
Last year the local authority announced the fund had been allocated to improve the street scene, encourage property regeneration, and attract private investment before launching a public consultation asking members of the public exactly what they would like to see the money spent on.
The recommendations were approved by B&NES in April but Radstock Town Council chairwoman councillor Lesley Mansell said she was forced to submit a freedom of information request to find the results of the consultation.
She was prompted by concerns about £135,000 of the money being spent helping businesses in neighbouring Westfield through the Radstock and Westfield Economic Forum.
She said: "I raised this at cabinet meetings about where the money was to be spent and did not get a reply.
"The consultation did not say that this money, for Radstock, should be spent in Westfield."
The town council has called for the money to be used to help businesses in Radstock, such as those at Mill Lane and Haydon industrial estates.
Councillors have also questioned why £190,000 of the money promised is being spent on improvements to highways, pavements and 20mph road signage when they say it should be coming out of highways budgets, and why requests for greater investment into youth work were ignored.
A B&NES spokesman said the investment was a real boost for Radstock.
He said: "It's a shame that Radstock Town Council appear to be opposing the projects for the RCF that were well supported by local people, agreed in April 2013 at a public meeting of the cabinet and will benefit the town.
"There was a public consultation in October 2012; the town council chose not to respond."
See letters – page 12