A Freedom of Information Act request by City & East Liberal Democrats shows that Labour-run Tower Hamlets Council is sitting on £70 million of unspent developer contributions. The full results can be viewed here.
Under planning laws, developers have to contribute to a fund for councils to invest in the community. The contributions are considered a substitute for developers building proper levels of social housing in regeneration projects.
Tower Hamlets has had extensive ‘regeneration’ in recent years, with social tenants being forced to leave their communities.
Labour should be spending the developer contributions to strengthen the community. Instead, the money is just sitting there:
Nearly £70 million unspent;
Over half not formally allocated;
No plans for £14 million.
Lib Dems: We must invest in the community
The Lib Dems are calling on the council to invest in community projects. We are also asking Tower Hamlets residents to let us know what they would do with the unspent developer funds. Let us know by visiting howwouldyouspendthemoney.com
Elaine Bagshaw, Lib Dem candidate for City & East in the May GLA election commented:
“Frankly, this is just not good enough. The £14 million should be spent on the community; from schools to skate parks and cycle lanes to parking. I've been speaking to local residents about this issue and they have loads of ideas. Perhaps the local Labour council could listen to them if they've run out?”