POLL: How should Bristol mayor George Ferguson spend his £14 million?
A new “developers tax” is expected to bring a windfall to the cash-strapped city council of £14 million during the next six years.
It will be up to the mayor George Ferguson to decide how most of the money should be spent with the approval of councillors.
But how do you think the money should be spent?
Under Government guidelines, the money cannot be used for running the council’s services.
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This means it cannot be used for reducing the £35 million cuts which Mr Ferguson has been forced to make during the next financial year.
But he can use the money for “infrastructure improvements” – that means road improvements, transport systems, new school buildings, even a leisure centre or swimming pool.
Mr Ferguson has told The Post he would like to see some of the money used for affordable housing – new homes for people on low incomes which would help to ease the chronic housing shortage in the city.
He would also like to use it to help turn Bristol into a “green” capital by using the money to make it easier to insulate our homes, install solar panels and switch to renewable energy.
But how would you like to see the money spent? Remember, it cannot be used for running services such as taking on more social workers or reducing council tax bills.
Have your say in our poll:
The windfall comes from a levy which developers must pay when planning permission is given for new buildings.
The amount which has to be paid depends on the size of the development.
In the case of the new supermarket at Bristol Rovers’ current ground in Horfield, Sainsbury’s will have to pay about £1 million.
But in the years ahead, council officers have estimated that the levy will bring in about £4 million a year by 2018.