Gedling Borough Council deputy leader Michael Payne has criticized the government for ‘further neglecting the area’ after local green spaces ran out of new funds to ‘improve’ UK parks.
Money is being given to councils to create or significantly revamp existing parks in 85 neighborhoods which they say are most deprived of outdoor space.
Funds have been paid to Bassetlaw, Derby, East Lindsey, Leicester, Lincoln, Nottingham and West Lindsey councils in the East Midlands.
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Councilor Payne revealed the council was ineligible to apply for funding.
He said: “Around 100 areas have been chosen by the Conservative Government as eligible for a share of a £9million fund to create or renovate city parks and green spaces.
“Again, Gedling is not on the list.
“Our parks and green spaces will not receive a penny from this fund. The Conservative government does not think they are worth it.
Mr Payne listed Lambley Lane Recreation Ground & Play Park, Valley Road Playing Grounds & Play Park, Church Lane & St. Mary’s Play Park, Arno Vale Play Park and Bestwood Country Park as places that could have benefited from leveling funding.
Payne added: “Remember we were already overlooked when the government allocated funds from the £4.8billion Global Leveling Fund. They didn’t give the Borough of Gedling a single cent from the Towns Fund, the Future High Streets Fund or the Leveling Up Fund.
The council are set to submit a new bid which could see £50million flow to Arnold for the creation of a new leisure center and theater if successful.
The recent bid has been criticized by Tory party members who have said other parts of the borough are now out.
Councilor Payne revealed he has now written a letter to the government asking for a share of the £9m fund for improving the borough’s parks.
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Gedling MP Tom Randall responded to Councilor Payne’s claims.
He said: ‘The 85 councils eligible for funding from the government’s £9m parks upgrade fund were determined using evidence from Natural England’s Green Infrastructure Mapping Tool, which combines the Multiple Deprivation Index (MDI) and access to green space data. In Gedling we are fortunate to be surrounded by beautiful public and natural parks, local nature reserves, playgrounds and access to land. This means that Gedling Borough does not meet the criteria for the Leveling Up Parks Fund, which was set up to provide urban areas with access to green space.
“Gedling Borough Council has received over £200,000 in ‘Welcome Back’ funding from the government. This funding could have been spent on maintaining our parks, removing graffiti, and improving green spaces and landscaping. I am disappointed that Gedling Town Council did not spend their full allocation and the funding had to be returned to the government. Rather than blame the government, Cllr Payne, who is in charge of finances for Gedling Borough Council, should be held to account for his inability to spend that money which means our parks have missed out.
“I am however delighted to have helped Gedling to be awarded over £2,000,000 from the Government’s Shared Prosperity Fund. Securing this investment depends on the Council submitting a detailed plan. The Council may choose to spend money from this to improve their parks and I will continue to support local “Friends of” groups in securing grants for new play equipment, as I recently did in Breck Hill Park and which I am currently doing with Valley Road in Carlton.”
NOTE: Gedling Eye has contacted a Tom Randall representative with an incorrect email address and apologizes for the delay in responding to the article.
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