Wincanton, Castle Cary and Bruton town councils join forces in section 106 crusade
RESOLUTE councillors from Wincanton, Castle Cary and Bruton have joined forces in a crusade to ensure that money generated from local developments stays within the towns.
A team of councillors from the three towns met on Thursday to share their views amid concerns that "section 106" money generated locally is being spent outside of the area.
A section 106 agreement binds developers to contributing towards community facilities – including health and leisure centres.
The group, which has vowed to meet regularly as the Three Towns Committee, is seeking clarification from South Somerset District Council over where the money is being spent.
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Terry Philpott, chairman of Castle Cary Town Council, said: "We've been trying to get a statement breaking down the section 106 payments for a long time, but there's a complete lack of clarity over what is available."
Alex Rubbo, mayor of Bruton, added: "We need to have a breakdown of all the money generated and a clear explanation of where exactly that money has gone.
"That's the starting point. We need to find out how much money has gone to the Octagon Theatre in Yeovil, when we have the Bruton Players and CaryLive which both need investment."
Colin Winder, mayor of Wincanton, believes local arts clubs are suffering through a lack of financial support.
He said: "The whole thing about section 106 money is that there is a lot of available but I'm not sure how much is being spent in our towns. I think we get very little.
"In every village there are dramatic societies or carnival clubs which are all very active, but they got nothing. If we want to develop art in the area, these are the places where we need money."
The group "expects" a detailed breakdown from the district council by Thursday, November 1, explaining where money generated from local developments has been spent.
A district council spokesman said it could not comment while it considered a detailed response.
The group will meet again next month.
For full reaction, see this week's Wincanton, Bruton and Castle Cary edition of the Western Gazette.