Concern over Park Hill spending

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CHANGES to Sheffield Council’s agreement with Park Hill flats developer Urban Splash could be a ‘blank cheque’ for more public money for the controversial regeneration scheme, opposition councillors claim.

Sheffield Council’s cabinet is today due to approve proposals giving officers the power to change lease agreements without approval by councillors.
The council has no further money earmarked for the project – already backed by £40 million of Government cash and £2.5m of council funding to cover security.

But officers will also be able to approve spending of taxpayers’ money from other public sector organisations, subject to successful bids, claim opposition Lib Dem councillors.

Coun Simon Clement-Jones, Lib Dem finance spokesman, said: “It now appears Labour councillors are writing a blank cheque for this black hole and that future decisions about this taxpayer-funded project will be made behind closed doors.”

Labour cabinet member for housing, Coun Harry Harpham, replied: “This is not about any extra funds, if any funds were ever required to go into this it would be subject to a further cabinet report, which would require a political agreement.”