Communities miss out on £1,000 grant from '˜forgetful' councillors

Needy causes have been neglected of a generous cash sum because two councillors didn't claim a free grant for their ward.

Tuesday, 22nd March 2016, 10:11 am
Updated Tuesday, 22nd March 2016, 12:32 pm
Milton Keynes Council

Every year all 57 councillors are given a £1,000 budget to spend on projects in their area.

But this year five MK councillors failed to make full use of the funding and two - Councillor Mick Legg for Bletchley West and Councillor Isobel McCall for Campbell Park and Old Woughton - didn’t bother to use it at all.

Mr Legg told the Citizen he had “forgotten” about the grant, which he donates to West Bletchley parish council every year for their Christmas events.

He said: “There was an error on my part. Unfortunately there is a deadline that I missed so the money can no longer be used.

“I have been busy, but there is no excuse. I accept full responsibility and will donate the money to West Bletchley parish council next year.”

In the past the money has been used to fund various projects such as restoring a community hall, installing a disabled toilet in a village hall, helping out a scout group and supporting a senior citizens lunch club.

Councillor Sarah Betteley spent just £200 of her £1000 budget, while Councillor Ann Clancy spent just 30 per cent. Councillor Ric Brackenbury missed out on giving away £250.

Councillor Mick Legg

However, the total amount of money that will be spent on needy causes across Milton Keynes was a healthy sum of £53,475.

Some of the projects include a pop-up clinic for the Citizens Advice Bureau in Bletchley East, a Hanslope cancer group football coaching for youngsters and contributions to the local food bank.

A council spokesman told the Citizen that any unspent money goes back into the “general pot”.

He said: “Some years a few councillors don’t allocate all of their budget but this year we have had most of the councillors allocate all or most of their budgets to local projects.”

Councillor Isobel McCall

Councillor Isobel McCall failed to respond about why she did not use her ward budget.

Councillor Mick Legg
Councillor Isobel McCall