WaGCG : Wantage and Grove Campaign Group
Wantage and Grove Campaign Group (WaGCG)

Column 21st June 2023

Why are they sitting on the money?

If you read this column regularly you will know that developers have to contribute to the necessary infrastructure for our area.

Every year the County, District, Town and Parish Councils each have to publish a report which describes what contributions have been received and what they have been used for.

The 2021/22 statement for the County Council shows that they received almost £48 million in the year from section 106 (S106) agreements agreed by developers, but spent only £25 million.

They hold a total of nearly £240 million of S106 funds received and have secured an additional £164 million expected to be received in the future.

As you can see the sums are huge and most are spent on education and transport with much smaller sums being spent on libraries, adult social care, waste and all the other infrastructure provided by the County Council.

The County Council may also secure non-financial planning obligations such as land for the delivery of a new school, a new road, or even the delivery of a new school or library building.

The District Council also gets contributions from the S106 agreements which may be monetary or non-financial (such as open spaces, affordable housing, community buildings, sports pitches, allotments etc.).

They also receive funds through the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL), of which 5 percent is used to pay administration costs, 15 percent (or 25 percent if a neighbourhood plan exists) goes to the local Town or Parish Council, half goes to the County Council and the remainder goes towards the infrastructure projects.

In the 2021/22 statement the District Council reported that they had secured over £22 million of S106 and CIL contributions and spent just £2 million.

At the beginning of June this year their website showed that they held about £20 million of S106 money which has not yet been spent and have already secured a further £36 million.

£4.3 million of the money held by the District Council is reserved for the “Wessex Leisure Centre” which was cancelled in 2020 and we await the new Leisure Strategy which might indicate how this money can be spent.

To find out more about what funds are available for the people of the OX12 area and how organisations in OX12 can try to obtain funds for their projects, come along to the Wantage Methodist Church tomorrow evening (22 June) at 7.30 to a meeting hosted by the Campaign Group.

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