Last year we highlighted on our website how Sefton Council was hoarding an unexpended budget of £3.668m received from housing developments under S106 planning contributions.
Last year they also held £403,170.94 in funds which the Council had allocated to various Wards but did not spend. This money was specifically earmarked for tree planting, greenspaces, and local environmental improvements.
A report entitled the Infrastructure Funding Statement has been published recently showing that for 2020/21 the Council received £365,314.95 via S106 contributions. The report also shows the Council is sitting on £3,227,778.83 of funding which has yet to be allocated to specific projects.
Of even greater concern is that Sefton Council has reported that during 2020/21 the sum allocated to specific Wards had increased to £437,252.69 but had not been spent. Again, this money was specifically earmarked for tree planting, greenspaces, and local environmental improvements.
At a time when the Labour Council continues to blame the government for the declining standard of our local environment it is ironic that they are sitting on large sums of money which they have failed to spend on our communities. They argue there is no money to spend on maintaining and enhancing our parks. For example, they have invited volunteers and businesses to contribute towards restoring the boating lake in Crosby’s Coronation Park but have at their disposal over £437,000 which they have failed to spend. Blundellsands Ward alone has been allocated £52,498 which remains unspent.
This demonstrates that our Labour Council is content to promote housing development (generally on greenfield sites) and receive S106 contributions which it is then incapable of spending, at the same time pleading “austerity” as the reason for their inaction.