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.”

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