Answers wanted over £150k cash

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COUNCILLORS in Sutton Bridge are demanding answers over what money has been spent from a fund set up to benefit the community.

Around £1million was set aside for community projects in a Section 106 fund when Sutton Bridge Power Station was built, but parish councillors are worried some of the cash may have been allocated without consultation.

At a parish council meeting on Tuesday, councillors were told £150,000 originally earmarked for the now privately-funded Sir Peter Scott Lighthouse appeared to have been transferred to the Nene Marine marina project.

The additional sum means the marina project, which would see a new waterfront development in Sutton Bridge, would benefit from £400,000 from the fund.

A further £25,000 had also been allocated to a economic development post between 2007-2009 at South Holland District Council – unbeknown to Sutton Bridge Parish Council.

The figures had come from a breakdown of the Section 106 fund sent to the council, which is controlled by South Holland District Council.

Parish chairman Coun Christopher Brandon-King said: “My question is who and on what authority agreed to put a total of £400,000 to Nene Marine?”

He continued: “My concern is that any sum going to the Community Interest Company will benefit very few people other than the directors.”

District councillors Chris Brewis and Michael Booth both admitted they did not know when the decision was made about the cash.

Sutton Bridge resident Peter Clery also raised concerns about the cash during the public forum.

He said: “There is absolutely no guarantee that the marina can go ahead. There is no viable business plan. There cannot be as the company do not own nor, as far as I am aware, have no agreement to buy the site.

“Nor is there any guarantee that it will not make a loss.”

Mr Clery instead called for the money to be put back in to the general fund to allow the parish council to apply to use the money for a sports pavilion.

The council is now seeking a further breakdown and background to the fund.

Coun Howard Johnson, portfolio holder for Section 106 funds, is also being invited to meet councillors.