CHADWELL St Mary has lost out on over £20,000 of money earmarked for the community, according to Chadwell St Mary Councillor Sara Muldowney and Community Forum Chair, Peter Saunders.
This money was part of so called “Planning Gain” – which is paid by developers to help ease the issues caused by their development – and was earmarked for improving sports and play on Orsett Heath.
Chadwell St Mary Labour Councillor, Sara Muldowney said;
“The new builds that replaced the Greyhound Pub are opposite the Heath. There couldn’t be a closer link between this money and where the community wants the money spent.”
Councillors and the Chadwell Community Forum are disappointed to learn this money is now being used to help plug the black hole in Thurrock Council’s finances and will go towards paying for a new borough wide strategy which makes little mention of Chadwell.
Sara Muldowney said;
“We discussed these monies with the Chadwell Community Forum, and other local groups, who were very clear they wanted to see it spent on community play and sports projects on the Heath
“However, when I put this to the council it was refused – saying that this money had been earmarked for a new borough-wide strategy instead! This money was, clearly, earmarked for the Heath and I can find no public consultation or discussion anywhere that has led to this about turn.
“It’s completely unacceptable! This £20,000 was awarded for the benefit of the local Chadwell community and where and how it is spent should be led by them.
“I now call upon the council to engage with myself and local community groups to make sure that all of this money is spent on community priorities.”
Peter Saunders, Forum chair, added;
“It is concerning that this tranche of funds, together with two others from developments elsewhere in Chadwell St Mary, should have vanished into what appears to be a “black hole” in Thurrock Council’s accounts.”
“Under the terms of the scheme these funds were designated for use within Chadwell St Mary ward and were not intended for general purposes.”
“Residents of Chadwell St Mary are entitled to feel that the Council has short-changed them, and to ask that these monies be “re-discovered” and made available to the local community as they should have been in the first place.”
“The ward is crying out for youth provision, and also for some adult fitness equipment on Orsett Heath”