Eric Pickles visits Colchester to see Jumbo and discuss New Homes Bonus

What has happened to £3m new homes bonus?

What has happened to £3m new homes bonus?

First published in News
Last updated

SECRETARY of State Eric Pickles has slammed Colchester Council for how it uses the Government’s new homes bonus.

The Tory big-hitter criticised the council during a visit to the town yesterday.

He accused the Lib Dem, Labour and independent-run authority for failing to engage with residents or invest the millions of pounds it has received through NewHomes bonuses.

Colchester Council has more than £3million in the kitty as a result of approving thousands of new homes.

Mr Pickles said: “I’m a bit disappointed.

“There have been some stonking developments – the development to the barracks is fantastic.

“The council has missed a great opportunity of public engagement.

“It is not council money, it is public money.”

Read the full story in today's Gazette.

Comments (19)

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10:52am Fri 16 May 14

ThomCO3 says...

They've blown it all filling the pot holes.
They've blown it all filling the pot holes. ThomCO3
  • Score: -17

11:42am Fri 16 May 14

hughie-s says...

I thought they had invested in a state of the art tin shed.
I thought they had invested in a state of the art tin shed. hughie-s
  • Score: 4

12:12pm Fri 16 May 14

catflap1 says...

"The Tory big-hitter" - is this a way of calling him fat
"The Tory big-hitter" - is this a way of calling him fat catflap1
  • Score: 10

12:27pm Fri 16 May 14

Jess Jephcott says...

Can somebody please tell us what CBC were supposed to do with the money exactly? Surely they will use it to prop up their pension fund deficit?
Can somebody please tell us what CBC were supposed to do with the money exactly? Surely they will use it to prop up their pension fund deficit? Jess Jephcott
  • Score: 5

12:52pm Fri 16 May 14

romantic says...

According to www.gov.uk, "Local councils can decide how to spend the New Homes Bonus. However, we expect local councils to consult communities about how they will spend the money, especially communities where housing stock has increased". I have to say that CBC has kept this one very quiet indeed, as indeed has the Gazette (did anybody know?). So maybe the Gazette will let us know who at the council we contact to suggest ways this money should be spent.
According to www.gov.uk, "Local councils can decide how to spend the New Homes Bonus. However, we expect local councils to consult communities about how they will spend the money, especially communities where housing stock has increased". I have to say that CBC has kept this one very quiet indeed, as indeed has the Gazette (did anybody know?). So maybe the Gazette will let us know who at the council we contact to suggest ways this money should be spent. romantic
  • Score: 13

1:24pm Fri 16 May 14

Colonel Kurtz says...

Probably spent on lesbian awareness workshops for hamsters or diversity classes for squirrels.
Probably spent on lesbian awareness workshops for hamsters or diversity classes for squirrels. Colonel Kurtz
  • Score: 1

2:06pm Fri 16 May 14

julieee says...

Jess Jephcott wrote:
Can somebody please tell us what CBC were supposed to do with the money exactly? Surely they will use it to prop up their pension fund deficit?
put it towards jumbo with your £5k donation?
[quote][p][bold]Jess Jephcott[/bold] wrote: Can somebody please tell us what CBC were supposed to do with the money exactly? Surely they will use it to prop up their pension fund deficit?[/p][/quote]put it towards jumbo with your £5k donation? julieee
  • Score: 9

4:55pm Fri 16 May 14

Jess Jephcott says...

Now that would be good Julieee. Fat chance though. They don't mind playing petty politics and stopping a developer from rescuing Jumbo, but to actually fund it themselves, fat chance.
Now that would be good Julieee. Fat chance though. They don't mind playing petty politics and stopping a developer from rescuing Jumbo, but to actually fund it themselves, fat chance. Jess Jephcott
  • Score: 4

5:26pm Fri 16 May 14

Ben Locker says...

romantic wrote:
According to www.gov.uk, "Local councils can decide how to spend the New Homes Bonus. However, we expect local councils to consult communities about how they will spend the money, especially communities where housing stock has increased". I have to say that CBC has kept this one very quiet indeed, as indeed has the Gazette (did anybody know?). So maybe the Gazette will let us know who at the council we contact to suggest ways this money should be spent.
That's what I've based the campaign in Mile End on @romantic. I have a petition on the go at www.givemileendasay.
org.uk - my hope is to force the council to act like Wychavon, and put 40% of the cash raised into the communities affected by development. They do it via parish councils, community groups etc and if the grant is over £1k they have to prove it meets a community need.

I have had much correspondence with Ann Turrell and she seems to think the cash is a replacement for lost council grants, so they're just propping up existing, wasteful spending with money that should be invested in communities. They're going to get £20m from 3,000 houses in Mile End ffs - and I bet we'll get hardly a penny of it in our area.
[quote][p][bold]romantic[/bold] wrote: According to www.gov.uk, "Local councils can decide how to spend the New Homes Bonus. However, we expect local councils to consult communities about how they will spend the money, especially communities where housing stock has increased". I have to say that CBC has kept this one very quiet indeed, as indeed has the Gazette (did anybody know?). So maybe the Gazette will let us know who at the council we contact to suggest ways this money should be spent.[/p][/quote]That's what I've based the campaign in Mile End on @romantic. I have a petition on the go at www.givemileendasay. org.uk - my hope is to force the council to act like Wychavon, and put 40% of the cash raised into the communities affected by development. They do it via parish councils, community groups etc and if the grant is over £1k they have to prove it meets a community need. I have had much correspondence with Ann Turrell and she seems to think the cash is a replacement for lost council grants, so they're just propping up existing, wasteful spending with money that should be invested in communities. They're going to get £20m from 3,000 houses in Mile End ffs - and I bet we'll get hardly a penny of it in our area. Ben Locker
  • Score: 3

6:17pm Fri 16 May 14

Reginald47 says...

AnneTurrell is right no matter what Pickley says. I read that CBC's grant income from Government has dropped from £10m four years ago to just over £2m next year. When the council asked the Minister how they were suposed to make up the difference without making cuts he said 'well you've got the New Homes Bonus haven't you'. Different Tories, different stories.
AnneTurrell is right no matter what Pickley says. I read that CBC's grant income from Government has dropped from £10m four years ago to just over £2m next year. When the council asked the Minister how they were suposed to make up the difference without making cuts he said 'well you've got the New Homes Bonus haven't you'. Different Tories, different stories. Reginald47
  • Score: -7

6:46pm Fri 16 May 14

Ben Locker says...

Not really @Reginald47. Neighbouring councils are putting their New Homes Bonus money into infrastructure or reserves. Wychavon is an exemplar by consulting communities on how to spend up to 40% of the money. Other councils face the same pressures, but do the right thing by their communities. Ours does not. So in Mile End we'll get 3,000 new homes, minimal investment in infrastructure to match, no consultation of existing and new residents on how to improve their area - all to prop up a council that employs about the same number of people as Braintree and Tendring combined. I think they're a disgrace.
Not really @Reginald47. Neighbouring councils are putting their New Homes Bonus money into infrastructure or reserves. Wychavon is an exemplar by consulting communities on how to spend up to 40% of the money. Other councils face the same pressures, but do the right thing by their communities. Ours does not. So in Mile End we'll get 3,000 new homes, minimal investment in infrastructure to match, no consultation of existing and new residents on how to improve their area - all to prop up a council that employs about the same number of people as Braintree and Tendring combined. I think they're a disgrace. Ben Locker
  • Score: 7

9:19pm Fri 16 May 14

hughie-s says...

Jess Jephcott wrote:
Can somebody please tell us what CBC were supposed to do with the money exactly? Surely they will use it to prop up their pension fund deficit?
Gosbecks visitor centre? Added incentive for them is that it would give them justification to charge for the car park!
[quote][p][bold]Jess Jephcott[/bold] wrote: Can somebody please tell us what CBC were supposed to do with the money exactly? Surely they will use it to prop up their pension fund deficit?[/p][/quote]Gosbecks visitor centre? Added incentive for them is that it would give them justification to charge for the car park! hughie-s
  • Score: 2

10:45pm Fri 16 May 14

A Very Private Gentleman says...

New homes bonus define?
I think we are all in a Pickle over this.
AVPG :-)
New homes bonus define? I think we are all in a Pickle over this. AVPG :-) A Very Private Gentleman
  • Score: -2

12:03am Sat 17 May 14

Boris says...

julieee wrote:
Jess Jephcott wrote:
Can somebody please tell us what CBC were supposed to do with the money exactly? Surely they will use it to prop up their pension fund deficit?
put it towards jumbo with your £5k donation?
Best suggestion yet. Just google "save jumbo" and follow the link to make your donation, on line or by cheque.
[quote][p][bold]julieee[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Jess Jephcott[/bold] wrote: Can somebody please tell us what CBC were supposed to do with the money exactly? Surely they will use it to prop up their pension fund deficit?[/p][/quote]put it towards jumbo with your £5k donation?[/p][/quote]Best suggestion yet. Just google "save jumbo" and follow the link to make your donation, on line or by cheque. Boris
  • Score: 0

7:45am Sat 17 May 14

blockpaver says...

Is this the same pot as the “Section 106 money” one, amounts given to CBC by developers when new homes are built? If it is then disposal of it is decided at the Planning Approval stage.

These are a few items of which I am aware:

1. £50,000 went towards the refurbished toilets in Castle Park.

2. £70,000 is being set aside to revamp the Sensory gardens near to the “Hollytree’s Museum“ in the Castle Park.

3. £180,000 of it is being squandered on building a new replacement bridge over the Colne in the Castle Park at new to the Sports Centre.

4. Various other amounts spent on children’s’ play areas close to new developments.

Again no consultation at all.

CBC has detailed lists showing where the money is going or destined for.

If Mr Pickles is trying to score a few points he's failed as the Planning Committee includes politicians from all parties.
Is this the same pot as the “Section 106 money” one, amounts given to CBC by developers when new homes are built? If it is then disposal of it is decided at the Planning Approval stage. These are a few items of which I am aware: 1. £50,000 went towards the refurbished toilets in Castle Park. 2. £70,000 is being set aside to revamp the Sensory gardens near to the “Hollytree’s Museum“ in the Castle Park. 3. £180,000 of it is being squandered on building a new replacement bridge over the Colne in the Castle Park at new to the Sports Centre. 4. Various other amounts spent on children’s’ play areas close to new developments. Again no consultation at all. CBC has detailed lists showing where the money is going or destined for. If Mr Pickles is trying to score a few points he's failed as the Planning Committee includes politicians from all parties. blockpaver
  • Score: 3

7:46am Sat 17 May 14

stevedawson says...

I do hope they treated mr pickles to a good lunch.
I do hope they treated mr pickles to a good lunch. stevedawson
  • Score: -2

7:55am Sat 17 May 14

Ben Locker says...

@blockpaver - No. Section 106 money is completely different and separate. New Homes Bonus is paid by central government to the council when new homes are built in the borough.
@blockpaver - No. Section 106 money is completely different and separate. New Homes Bonus is paid by central government to the council when new homes are built in the borough. Ben Locker
  • Score: 4

11:33am Sat 17 May 14

Stanwayman67 says...

When I first saw this picture, I thought the 3 Tenners were visiting Colchester!
Then I remember there's elections next week, so it must be a Tory PR stunt. Must really p them off that they can't win control of Colchester :-)
When I first saw this picture, I thought the 3 Tenners were visiting Colchester! Then I remember there's elections next week, so it must be a Tory PR stunt. Must really p them off that they can't win control of Colchester :-) Stanwayman67
  • Score: 4

11:41am Sat 17 May 14

Shambolic says...

Myland certainly isn't seeing it, despite have 4000 or more new homes hoisted upon it. The pavements are a mess and there is no sign of any monetary input anywhere for the community.
Myland certainly isn't seeing it, despite have 4000 or more new homes hoisted upon it. The pavements are a mess and there is no sign of any monetary input anywhere for the community. Shambolic
  • Score: 3

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