Row over spending in deprived areas

NRHNBE111220b1, Ripley town hall,
NRHNBE111220b1, Ripley town hall,

A political row has broken out over the distribution of vital funding for some of the most deprived areas in Amber Valley.

It was decided at the latest 
annual meeting of Amber Valley Borough Council that £24,000 would be split and
spent in 11 deprived wards, 
including ones in Heanor and Ripley.

The money will be used to pay for improvements and special projects.

However the Tories, who no longer run the authority after Labour’s tight victory in the May elections, have reacted angrily to the plans, claiming two deprived wards which are also among the most deprived will not get any cash, just because they have Tory councillors.

The Conservatives claim
according to statistics from the Office of 
National Statistics the wards of 
Shipley Park, Horsley and Horsley Woodhouse, and 
Kilburn, Denby and Holbrook were more deprived than others on the list which will be getting cash.

Deputy leader of the Conservative Group, Cllr Alan Cox 
claimed the decision that the wards of Heanor and Loscoe, Codnor and Waingroves, and Belper South would be getting funds ahead of the other two was wrong.

He claimed Shipley Park and Kilburn and Denby wards had missed out only because the wards are Tory held, whereas the 11 wards receiving cash are all held by Labour councillors.

The claims have been strongly denied by Labour.

Kilburn ward Tory councillor Kevin Buttery claimed at the meeting the move was 
“discriminatory and nothing more than postcode politics”.

Cllr John Nelson, Tory member for Belper 
Central slammed the 
decision to allocate funds to Belper South claiming the area was not deprived and that the two overlooked wards 
required the funding more.

He said he felt instead that every 
councillor in the borough should receive funds to allocate 
towards improvements in their wards.

Labour councillor and new chairman of the 
planning board Brian 
Lyttle said it was merely a coincidence that the 11 wards receiving funds were held by Labour.

Leader of the ruling Labour group Cllr Paul Jones told the meeting: “I am amazed that people oppose the funding. It will help improve the wards and improve their 
constituents’ quality of life.”

Tory group leader and former leader of the borough council Cllr Stuart Bradford wanted details of all spending from the allocations to be 
reported to the next full 
meeting of the council, but his amendment bid was turned down by councillors.