Some deprived areas being overlooked, claim Tories

breaking news
breaking news

A political row has broken out over the distribution of vital funding for some of the most deprived areas in Amber Valley.

It was decided at the latest annual meeting of Amber Valley Borough Council that £24,000 would be split and spent in 11 deprived wards, including ones in Heanor and Ripley.

The money will be used to pay for improvements and special projects.

However the Tories, who no longer run the authority after Labour’s tight victory in the May elections, reacted angrily to the plans, claiming two wards which are also among the most deprived will not get any cash, just because they have Tory councillors.

The Conservatives claim that according to statistics from the Office of National Statistics the wards of Shipley Park, Horsley and Horsley Woodhouse, and Kilburn, Denby and Holbrook are more deprived than others on the list that will be getting cash.

Deputy leader of the Conservative Group, Cllr Alan Cox said the decision that the wards of Heanor and Loscoe, Codnor and Waingroves, and Belper South would be getting funds ahead of the other two was wrong. He claimed Shipley Park and Kilburn and Denby wards had missed out only because the wards are Tory held, whereas the 11 wards receiving cash are all held by Labour councillors.

The claims were strongly denied by Labour.

Kilburn ward Tory councillor Kevin Buttery said at the meeting the move was “discriminatory and nothing more than postcode politics”.

Cllr John Nelson, Tory member for Belper Central slammed the decision to allocate funds to Belper South claiming the area was not deprived and that the two overlooked wards required the funding more. Labour councillor and new chairman of the planning board Brian Lyttle said it was merely a coincidence that the 11 wards receiving funds were held by Labour. Leader of the ruling Labour group Cllr Paul Jones told the meeting: “I am amazed that people oppose the funding. It will help improve the wards and improve their constituents’ quality of life.”

Tory group leader and former leader of the borough council Cllr Stuart Bradford wanted details of all spending from the allocations to be reported to the next full meeting of the council, but his amendment bid was turned down by councillors.