‘Where’s the £12m from Tesco gone?’

BASSETLAW Council leader Simon Greaves wants a breakdown of where the authority has spent £12 million it received from Tesco for the former Clinton Maltings site.

The newly-elected Labour leader accused the former Conservative administration of being wasteful and has sworn he will be more prudent with the public purse.

The review into the council’s capital programme is expected to take a further three weeks, while he ‘presses pause’ on the authority’s capital spending.

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It comes after the Guardian lifted the lid on the council’s £1m expense on its No.73 Bridge Street market base, following complaints over the condition of the public toilets in the building.

Coun Greaves said the council, under his leadership, will offer tax payers ‘value for money’.

“The authority has spent more capital cash than it has had the benefit of from any other time in its history,” he said. “I want a clear picture of where all the money from Tesco has been spent.”

“I’m asking for a complete review so that it’s clear to me where the capital funding has been spent and allocated.”

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“We are, as a council, in very difficult times and a large amount of the money in the budget report - a large amount of that money - has been allocated or spent.”

Planning permission for Tesco was granted in 2007, then a re-submission for a supermarket passed three years later.

The council’s planning committee approved proposals to extend the store by 20 per cent in April of last year on the eight-acre site.

“It’s not the location I would see suitable for a major supermarket,” coun Greaves added.

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A Tesco spokesman said the store will bring ‘a much better customer offer’.

Trees surrounding the Blyth Road and Carlton Road junction were felled in January, as work on a new five-armed roundabout begins to take shape.

The council secured a tree replacement scheme which will see an overall increase in both the number and quality of trees in the area.

The Tesco investment has already paid for the development of the Canch and other play areas around Bassetlaw, as well as the relocation of the market, among other projects.

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Conservative leader Chris Wanless said: “The capital receipt from Tesco was spent wisely on the regeneration of the district, this is on public record.”

“If all councillor Greaves and Labour can do is look backwards, then what hope is there for a future for Bassetlaw?”

“I hope councillor Greaves keeps to his words and ensures the capital receipts the council receives for the proposed sale of land in Harworth are used in regeneration projects throughout the district.”