Bromsgrove's New Homes Bonus policy to be probed

By Tristan Harris Thursday 17 April 2014 Updated: 20/04 15:43

CAMPAIGNERS battling to get the New Homes Bonus distributed to areas of Bromsgrove district facing housing developments are celebrating after their petition amassed 1,400 signatures.

The list was presented at the full district council meeting on Wednesday (April 16) and the authority’s chairman, Coun June Griffiths, ordered for a high-level cross-party working group to be set up to discuss the issue in more detail.

Coun Griffiths, also suggested at Wednesday’s meeting that the group consider letting the public have its input into the process.

This is the first time a Bromsgrove District Council petition has reached the 1,250 signatures threshold to get an issue discussed by the authority.

The Standard reported in October how Hagley Residents Action Group (HRAG) launched the petition after feeling strongly that if properties were going to be built, any cash generated should go to those communities affected by them.

It has been Bromsgrove District Council policy to put the New Homes Bonus cash in a central pot which would be used throughout the district.

Peter Rowbottom, from HRAG, said he was pleased with the outcome, that the issue had been highlighted at a full council meeting and that distribution of what was a major source of Government funding was being looked at further.

“Clearly the full council now realises how important it is to investigate this matter fully and I therefore welcome the setting up of a cross-party committee.

“It is also reassuring that at least one of those parties, the Independent Alliance Group, has already publicly stated it believes the New Homes Bonus money should be being passed on to communities affected by house building, one of the original intentions of the scheme.

“I look forward to the cross party committee coming forward with a set of recommendations that can then be fully considered by cabinet and full council, with the ultimate aim of community facilities and groups across the district benefiting directly from this money.”

It is anticipated that a report detailing the findings should be ready for September.

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