Investigation call by angry Stowmarket estate residents

Cedars Park Estate residents had expected a permanent work of art
Cedars Park Estate residents had expected a permanent work of art

A residents’ association is calling for an investigation into the alleged ‘misuse’ of £10,000 of project money by Mid Suffolk District Council.

Cedar’s Park Residents Association has written to the Ombudsman for Local Government calling for an inquiry into the how the money was spent by the council in 2014.

The association say they had been expecting the money to go towards a permanent art work in the centre of the Cedars Park Estate, Stowmarket.

However, the funds – a Section 106 grant – contributed by developers Crest Nicholson, was used for a ‘reminiscence project’ involving schoolchildren and care home residents at Cedrus House, decorating leaves, writing poems and making Christmas crackers.

“We are not against the project in itself, but the original terms of the Section 106 agreement was that the money would be used for the benefit of the community to create a tangible piece of public art.

“The Cedrus House project did not offer anything permanent for the community and, moreover, only £136.81 was actually spent on materials with the rest spent on wages, expenses, travel costs and meals.

“We have asked the ombudsman to investigate whether the project met the Section 106 criteria, the procurement process for the work and whether the money was in fact, misused.”

A spokesman for MSDC, said: “As part of the Section 106 agreement, developer contributions were made for a public work of art.

“An arts project was discussed with some community representatives and a public arts project was carried out at Cedrus House.

“Whilst we appreciate the residents’ association may have had other expectations, we believe the funds have been used appropriately.”