More than £3 million still unspent
MORE than £3 million given to Bristol's Neighbourhood Partnerships to improve their communities is still unspent.
The city council decided nearly three years ago to give the 14 partnerships money which developers have to pay when they are granted planning permission for new projects.
The idea was to devolve power away from City Hall in College Green and get people more engaged in the decision-making process at grassroots level.
But a council report reveals that the partnerships have been given a total of £5.8 million yet only allocated £2.6 million – which leaves £3.2 million lying around in their budgets.
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The total amount which has actually been spent is less than £1 million (£984,000).
But some of this money is ring-fenced for specific uses such as a new primary school, for example, which might be needed with a large-scale project for hundreds of new homes.
The report explains the partnerships might be restricted in the way in which they can spend their money because of the type of Section 106 money they receive.
It is understood that a large portion of the partnership money is for highway improvements which have to be agreed by council officers.