Church Langley Conservative councillors are asking the council where nearly half a million pounds left by developers has gone.
Cllr Andrew Johnson, leader of the Conservative group on the council said, “There were two pots of money left by the developers to improve Church Langley. One was a long term infrastructure fund of around £440,000 and the other was £60,000 for facilities for young people. So far as we can ascertain, these monies have never been spent but we can’t find out what happened to the money.”
Cllr Simon Carter added, “The Infrastructure Fund was added to the work plan of the Scrutiny Committee last October with a report due in March this year. By the time of the March meeting, the item had disappeared off the work plan. Despite questions at the committee, we have still received no word of explanation, two months later. The money disappeared once before, in 2008, when Labour took £400,000 to fill a black hole in their budget – even though it could only be spent in Church Langley. We were able to replace it when we took control of the council later in the year.
“We are hoping our letter to the Managing Director can shed some light on what the council has done, or intends to do, with the fund.”
Cllr Tony Hall continued, “The £60,000 was originally intended for playgrounds but residents at the time could not agree on sites. In 2003 it was earmarked for SEYSHA for a new youth and sports facility on the playing field, but that never came to anything. So we have launched a Freedom of Information enquiry about it, hoping to get a speedier answer than for the Infrastructure Fund.”
Cllr Johnson concluded, “These funds are intended exclusively for Church Langley. We are not aware of substantial sums being spent here and we, and the residents of Church Langley, have a legitimate right to know what the council has done with their money.”
A Harlow Council spokesperson said: “The funding remains in place within the Council’s reserves. Council officers are meeting with Councillor Simon Carter next week to discuss this.
“More information will follow after this meeting.”
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