Search

Housing estate left with ‘nothing to show’ for £10k public art handout

PUBLISHED: 14:20 03 November 2017 | UPDATED: 14:20 03 November 2017

Cedars Park residents say £10,000 of Section 106 money was to be spent on public art at the Stowmarket estate  but that the money was 'frittered away'. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Cedars Park residents say £10,000 of Section 106 money was to be spent on public art at the Stowmarket estate  but that the money was 'frittered away'. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Housing estate residents have accused authorities of ‘frittering away’ £10,000 they wanted to fund a public work of art.

Cedars Park Residents Association's Fred Hillyer. Picture: GREGG BROWN Cedars Park Residents Association's Fred Hillyer. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Cedars Park Residents Association insists the cash paid to Mid Suffolk District Council by housing firm Crest Nicholson should have been used for a permanent focal point.

But the Stowmarket estate was left ‘short changed’, said the group, when it emerged most of the money went on overheads and fees for a ‘reminiscence project’, involving schoolchildren and Cedrus House care home residents decorating leaves, writing poems and making Christmas crackers.

The council said it believed the funds made available through a Section 106 planning obligation were used appropriately.

But Roger Willison-Gray, residents association chairman, said the original terms of agreement stated that a selected artist would ‘personalise a piece of open space on the estate’ using materials with a sustainable focus, and that the work was ‘intended to be permanent’.

The association’s copy of accounts showed the charity commissioned for the project, Suffolk Artlink, spent £136.81 on art materials and equipment.

Not including £1,200 for producing a display, exhibition or booklet, the rest went on overheads, management fees, travel expenses, artist’s pay, a photographer and catering.

Mr Willison-Gray said: “We spent a lot of time working with Crest Nicholson to ensure we had the right amenities and met the council to discuss a public art installation but consultation stopped when the officer we dealt with went on leave.

“We were unaware of any procurement process and then we saw the invoice. The finished art was probably thrown away.

“That’s £10,000 of public money and we have nothing to show.”

A council spokesman said the money went on a live arts project, including a series of workshops led by professional artists.

“This project engaged residents of Cedrus House, strengthened intergenerational links and put art at the heart of this part of the community,” he added.

“Activity between the school and Cedrus house continued beyond the funding support.

“While we appreciate that the residents association may have had other expectations of the work, we believe funds for this project have been used appropriately.”

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Stowmarket Mercury visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Stowmarket Mercury staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Stowmarket Mercury account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Other popular content

24 minutes ago

A charity chief is calling for so-called fix rooms to be brought to Suffolk for addicts to inject safely as figures show the number of people dying from drug misuse in the county has doubled in the last 10 years.

24 minutes ago

The waterfront has played host to a number of vessels and ships over the years, but here we look back to 1982 when makeshift rafts were put to the test and raced around the docks.

33 minutes ago

The 1970s heartthrob David Cassidy has died at the age of 67, his family has reported.

51 minutes ago

Emergency services have closed the A1092 Windmill Hill in Long Melford this morning after a vehicle crashed into a wall.

Local weather

Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 13°C

min temp: 11°C

Show Job Lists

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter
MyDate24 MyPhotos24