Claims Ripley £3m fund is a ‘sweetener’

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The leader of Ripley Town Council has slammed plans to ring fence £3million of capital receipts to Ripley - calling the plan a ‘sweetener’ for the Gateway scheme.

Last week a report by Amber Valley Borough Council stated more than £500,000 of improvements in Ripley would have to be put on hold due to a lack of funding.

But at Wednesday night’s council meeting it was announced £3million of projected capital could be kept exclusively for use in the town. The money could be spent on a ‘plaza’ type development in Ripley Market Place a report to council suggests. However Ripley Town Council leader Cllr Steve Freeborn says the scheme is an attempt to counter any ill feeling towards the Morrisons development on Nottingham Road.

He added: “I just see this as a desperate ploy to try and buy people off.”

Cllr Liz Bowley, who proposed the ring fencing for the Tory council said the funds ‘if spent wisely in consultation with local residents and businesses’ would make the town a more ‘enjoyable’ place and increase trade.