£2 million unspent on broadband cannot be reallocated

“Councillors in Devon have been told that they cannot use £2m of unspent funds from a major broadband project.

External funding has been used to finish the first phase of the Connecting Devon and Somerset scheme, the largest government-funded superfast broadband programme in the UK.

However, councillors who wanted to use the extra £2m to accelerate the project have been told that it is not within the county council’s power to reallocate funds.

“Councillor Stuart Barker, Devon County Council cabinet member for economy and skills, said: “The money isn’t for us to redistribute.

“We are not the accountable authority or the contract holder, so it is not for us to redistribute that money.”

The first phase of the Connecting Devon and Somerset project has been used to install superfast broadband in homes on Exmoor and Dartmoor with other difficult areas due to be completed by next year.