Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 2°C

min temp: 1°C

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.”

A yellow weather warning for snow has been issued for much of the Eastern region, including Suffolk and Essex, next week.

Highways England is set to answer some key questions on Orwell Bridge closures next week, as bosses address councillors in Ipswich on the latest measures.

Rail commuters on the region’s mainline this morning are likely to face disruption after the over-running engineering works closed the line between Stratford and Liverpool Street.

Suffolk church leaders have been left confused and irritated by the repeated vandalism of their visitor book.

Talented students at Suffolk New College organised and filmed their own Jools Holland-style show showcasing some of Suffolk’s brightest talent.

Remarkable staff and volunteers at Ipswich Hospital who go the extra mile were recognised at the trust’s annual awards ceremony.

Suffolk looks set for snow showers for much of next week, as latest forecasts suggest that Tuesday-Saturday is when the flurries will fall.

ActivLives is launching free drop-in gardening sessions for older people in the community and their relatives or carers next month.

Mountain Warehouse in Cornhill has partnered up with Keep Britain Tidy for its Great British Spring Clean 2018.

Therese Coffey repeated concerns over the ability of UK’s largest multi-academy trust to turn around the failing Felixstowe Academy.

Most read

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter
MyDate24 MyPhotos24