Councillors’ truce over funding row

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Warring councillors have agreed to meet up and try to find agreement over contested funding earmarked for a deprived part of Ashfield.

The pact came during a meeting of Ashfield District Council when Coun Jason Zadrozny, member for Sutton North, said £75,000 worth of money set aside for improvements to the Wharf Road area of Stanton Hill had been allocated elsewhere.

Coun Zadrozny told Coun Jim Aspinall, member for Suton Central, during the meeting: “It is a disgrace that this money has been taken away.

“I respect your right to represent your residents but there are 9,000 residents in Sutton North.

“You should reverse this decision and we need to come to a compromise where we can fix this problem.”

Coun Aspinall told Chad last month how the money in question had been allocated for improvements to Brierley Park when Coun Zadrozny had missed a meeting in which Sutton wards decided their funding priorities.

Coun Chris Baron, Ashfield District Council leader, said the money in question had been stockpiled from Section 106 funds contributed by developers for local improvements.

He added: “As long as your planned work has been on the boil it has been for other areas like Hucknall.

“I accompanied Coun Aspinall on a couple of visits to Stanton Hill and there are a couple of areas we still find to be unacceptable.

“I am sure Councillor Aspinall will gladly meet with you and we can look at where the money should be released to.

“We have given Area Committees the responsibilty for prioritising their spending. You need to put a strong case forward to the area committee and I am sure reason will come forward from that.”

Said Coun Aspinall: “I was up at Stanton Hill on Cooperative Street and was shocked that we have allowed that area to ruin as it is.

“The whole area needs a lift and I am quite happy to meet with councillors in Stanton Hill and Sutton North and look at what needs to be done because regeneration of town centres is important to me.”