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Frome gets poor deal from Mendip’s Legacy Fund

COUNCILLOR Nick White has labelled the £35,000 awarded to Frome from Mendip District Council from the New Homes Bonus Legacy Fund as “not enough to make a difference”.

The figure represents 14% of the £250,000 available across the region. This is to be shared between two projects, with £20,000 going to the River project and £15,000 to The Cheese and Grain.

However, cllr White believes that the sum awarded to Frome should have been much larger as Mendip District Council will be awarded £10million from a new homes bonus, which is given to local authorities from central government. The purpose of the cash is to go towards infrastructure projects to accommodate the increase in population that the new homes will bring.

In 2012, cllr White claimed that 2,500 of the 10,000 homes to be built in the Mendip region will be built in Frome between 2010-2026. He said, “The maths, in this case, is relatively easy to do; Frome should be getting £2.5million – not just a bit of it. Only 30% of this money is going to be used by Mendip to support local infrastructure projects!”

It was expected that £3million would be distributed into communities. However, a recent announcement said that £250,000 would be available and that communities would have to apply for a portion of the funding available.

Cllr White said, “I understand that local communities once again showed the appetite for improvement and the scheme was oversubscribed,  so making the decisions must have been difficult.  But did it have to be? No, not really.

“Last year Mendip agreed to put 30% of the  Bonus into such Legacy Schemes, and they are still on track to receive £10million by 2015/16 – so where has all the money gone? £250,000 represents only 2.5% of the overall total. Some way short I think.

“The money should be made available to those areas where most development takes place and I wonder whether this is reflected in the figures. I don’t think so.

“So come on Mendip, open the purse strings a little wider, start thinking radically and let us all know in good time what amount you intend to award for 2013/14. We for one are looking forward to another round.”