It’s now nearly a year since the district council announced that there would be a consultation on how the £600,000 of Sainsbury’s S106 would be spent. During last summer there were several consultation exercises including online questionnaires and stakeholder meetings. We were included in this process and like many others gave up our free time to attend meetings and provide input.
Since then, nothing, no updates, no announcements, except … this quote from Giles Hughes in the Standard:
“The main challenge for us in the next few months is to determine how best to allocate the money we have received from Sainsbury’s.”
This is very worrying as it implies all of the input from last year is about to be ignored and the decision on spending the money is now going to be taken behind closed doors. We are beginning to get the feeling we’re being sold down the river.
We were told categorically by district council officers that the decision would come from the consultation process. It’s starting to look like we’ve been lied to.
So … what is the money going to be spent on?
We’ve now been sent a list of the projects under consideration although we’re not sure whether we can share the full list publicly yet.
The list is quite uninspiring for the sum of money involved. The cycling related projects include two projects we’ve been campaigning for – removing the cobbles on the speed humps in the Porta area and more cycle parking in the city centre.
The other projects include some which were raised during the consultation but there are others that seem to have been added since. The way the projects have been pruned to the 10 or so on the list is not very clear.