Community to be invited to share wish list for £316k ‘war chest’

A view of Ottery. Ref edr 20 19TI 1010833. Picture: Terry Ife

A view of Ottery. Ref edr 20 19TI 1010833. Picture: Terry Ife - Credit: Archant

Ottery residents will soon be consulted on how to spend a £316,000 ‘war chest’ to improve the town.

Councillor Dean Stewart told Ottery Town Council on Monday, August 5, he wanted to begin working on a wish list from the community and members to spend the large sum of cash.

The town has £88,000 already available in Section 106 funds, a levy paid by developers to mitigate the impact of housing, and is expecting a further £223,000 from East Devon District Council.

From that £88,000, £22,000 is allocated to playing areas and £66,000 towards open spaces.

The council also has £4,000 in Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) funds.

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Cllr Stewart said: "Effectively we have a fighting war chest of £316,000 of Section 106 money.

"We also have savings in the bank so we do have a considerable sum of money which I believe we need to invest in the community.

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"I am keen to receive your ideas of what we do as a council on what we spend on.

"I would like to start that very soon as we do have £88,000 that we can spend today."

In the meeting, he asked members to suggest their 'wish list' projects which could be funded as part of an emerging business plan over the next five years.

Cllr Stewart said: "Can you please think about what you would like the council to do over the next five years?

"We can try and put costs to these things and see what's possible and not possible.

"Everything that goes in there will need to be approved by the full council.

"This is just a way of getting together our wish list and saying 'here is a structured plan and we can do this in year one and this in year two and we won't run out of money and we won't upset people in town'."

Cllr Richard Grainger said the plan would be for five years to ensure if there was a new council in the next election, there would be projects for the first 12 months of its term.

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