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Baildon play area spending plans criticised
9:00am Monday 10th December 2012 in News
A Baildon councillor denied that Bradford Council is diverting money from the poorer part of the village to the more affluent part because people there are more likely to vote.
Parish councillor Ian Lyons made the claim that money to improve play areas in the village was not being spent where it should be – on Southcliffe Drive, a play area he says has seen little investment for decades.
Instead he accuses the three Bradford councillors of ploughing the money into the west of the town, a well-off area where he says no-one wants or needs a play area.
The money has come from companies behind recent developments in the town. Referred to as 106 money, it is intended to improve local facilities.
Councillor Debbie Davies (Con, Baildon) believes the Council has its priorities right, saying the money will eventually lead to two play areas instead of focusing it all on one.
Of the money, £12,500 has been allocated for the Southcliffe Drive play area and £53,350 for a new play area near West Lane, near the recent reservoir development.
A further £42,680 is set aside for new sports facilities.
Speaking about the condition of the Southcliffe Drive play area, Coun Lyons said: “I used to live their in the 1980s and I don’t think it’s had anything done since. The play area is in a real state.
“The parish council has put a huge amount of effort in and we have got people’s expectations up something will be done there. But is has been decided money should instead be spent in the most affluent area of Baildon. It is a typical example of spending money in the rich area where more people vote.”
He said the west of the town had open spaces that were “natural play areas.”
Coun Davis denied the Council had effectively ignored the Southcliffe Drive site.
She said: “We have allocated £12,500 to it. If we put all the money in there then yes, that play area could be fixed tomorrow, but people who live near West Lane wouldn’t have a play area. Southcliffe drive play area might be a bit grotty, but at least they have one.”