Funding plan is ‘preposterous’

DAVENTRY Town Council has delayed making a decision on whether to hand over more cash to a group fighting the WaterSpace development.

At a heated meeting on Friday night the plans to give £1,500 of taxpayers’ money to Friends of Daventry Open Spaces (FODOS) were labelled ‘preposterous’ by one town councillor.

FODOS has submitted an application to register the Eastern Way Playing Field as a town green and has asked the town council to help fund its legal fees in this fight.

It was originally thought a payment such as this may be illegal, but the town council has since been told it can fund such projects if the money is used for certain expenses, including legal fees.

Daventry Town Council handed £650 to FODOS last year, but despite that many members have reservations about handing over more cash.

Cllr Mark Wesley said: “I don’t think these payments meet the conditions. Legally the funds have to directly benefit the community and I’m not sure they do this.”

Cllr Glenda Simmonds added: “FODOS has consistently failed to give us information on banking facilities.

“Why do they have to hide things and why can’t they be up front? This is taxpayers’ money we are talking about. We need an itemised invoice of what the money will be spent on.”

And Cllr James Lanham said: “The whole proceedings are preposterous.

“We are not defending the people of Daventry or the open spaces here. Just because this council made a mistake once (handing over cash) it doesn’t mean we should do it again.

“To me this just seems like Daventry District Council bashing and that’s a great shame.”

In defence of the plans to support FODOS Cllr Steve Tubb said: “FODOS met with us last year and are consultees with the WNDC, so they are not a ‘bunch of terrorists’ as one person has referred to them.

“The town council has said this is the best group to take the fight forward.”

The meeting was adjourned to enable the council clerk to get more detailed legal advice.