Mid Devon has been accused of losing thousands of pounds of money from its agreements with developers. At a Cullompton Town Council meeting on Thursday, September 29, the Cullompton Community Association (CCA) requested funds from S106 agreement funds, which developers provide when they build in the town. The CCA requested money to renew the play equipment at the CCA Fields.
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Councillor Matthew Dale said: “I think we should support this because the equipment down there is getting old and it does get well used after school by children with their parents. I think we ought to look at developer contributions from future projects towards it.”
Councillor Gordon Guest added: “There are various S106 pots. Mid Devon has always been very slow in administering these concerning Cullompton. I can think of at least two occasions where several thousand pounds had to be returned from the S106 box to the developer because Mid Devon had been too slow in spending them in the time provided. My response to this request would be to approve anything that gets hold of S106 money for any project. We should be taking it as quickly as we can. Even if we say yes, it might take Mid Devon a long time to process. Their track record is abysmal in relation to Cullompton Town Council, so I strongly suggest we support this request.”
Councillor Mike Thompson said: “We’ve got several play areas in town. Over the last ten years, this town council has put considerable money into costly play equipment. Most of the play areas we’ve leased or taken on from Mid Devon are costing us a small fortune. I’ve nothing against the CCA and what it represents, but as they’re a charity, have they done sufficient lobbying to raise money for various sources so they can replace this equipment themselves? It is not a town council play area.”
However, Councillor James Buczkowski added: “There are a number of S106 pots held by Mid Devon that are available for the community. Some of them are allocated. There is also an unallocated part, and this is for the purchase of new equipment. The request from the CCA was that the council supports the CCA charity accessing the unallocated pot of money that’s already been taken from developers and is sat at Mid Devon doing nothing and has been for some years. It’s not the town council’s money that will be paid, and it won’t affect our precept or budget.”