Tuesday, June 26, 2012
There is at least £32,000 available to spend on public sports and recreational facilities in Budleigh Salterton.
Residents could be given the chance to vote on how they want to spend the money, with ideas including a free-to-use outdoor gym next to the cricket club.
The idea of a public vote was proposed by Budleigh mayor Courtney Richards after he revealed that there could be thousands of pounds in cash from developers sitting in district coffers and earmarked for the town.
Under the previous government the cash was called Section 106 money. It is now known as a community infrastructure levy.
The money is cash paid by developers to the local planning authority to mitigate the impact that their developments have.
Cllr Richards said that while some of the money was ring-fenced for play parks, some cash could be available for other uses.
He said that along with Cllr Chris Kitson and town clerk Jo Vanstone they had recently attended a localism meeting at East Devon District Council.
He said: “One of the things that came out was the number of councils who have put out to consultation to the public how to use this money. We should ask East Devon how much we have got, when it has got to be spent by, and what the restrictions are. Then we can go to the townsfolk and ask what they think.”
Cllr Chris Kitson said: “The provision of an outdoor gym seems to fit in with the healthy ethos going through the town at the moment.
“A few weeks ago a walking group was set up by Dr Gemma Newman and she confirmed that the medical centre would be supportive of an outdoor gym. According to the 106 officer at East Devon we have £32,000 available for outdoor sports. I think we are pushing on an open door, and there is widespread support for an outdoor gym.”
Cllr Dick Mitchell said: “We should do this quickly as we don’t want to lose any of our 106 money.”
Cllr Harry Harrison asked for members’ thoughts on the best position for an outdoor gym and Cllr Richards said there is a patch of land outside the entrance to the cricket pitch that could be suitable.