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Revamp of riverside "robbing poorer areas of the borough"
Richmond Council has been accused of “robbing” wards across the borough to pay for sprucing up Richmond riverside.
Councillor Stephen Knight, leader of the Liberal Democrats in Richmond, described as “totally unacceptable” the council plans to pump £300,000 into ornate lighting and granite paving slabs.
Coun Knight accused the Conservative-run council of leaving other wards, such as his own Teddington, worse off as a result.
He said: “This is completely unacceptable.
“The Tories are taking money that should be spent mitigating the impact of developments in Hampton Wick, Hampton, Hampton Hill, Teddington and Twickenham and spending it on ornate light columns and granite paving on Richmond Riverside.
“Richmond riverside improvements should not come at the expense of removing funding from other parts of the borough.”
A cabinet member report published on Friday, February 7, reveals the council plans to take almost £300,000 of Section 106 contributions.
The funding will be taken from Fulwell and Hampton Hill (£45,592), Hampton (£97,880), Hampton North (£21,480), Hampton Wick and South Teddington (£100,274) North Richmond (£6,622) and South Twickenham (£18,525).
South Richmond, which covers the Richmond riverside area, contributes £1,000, bringing the total figure up to £299,398.
Councillor Pamela Fleming, cabinet member for environment and planning, described the riverside stretch as in very bad condition and said its refurbishment was long overdue.
She said: “Richmond Riverside is used by thousands of residents from all over the borough and is one of the most popular areas for visitors and tourists who make a big contribution to the local economy.
“With our uplift and parks improvement programmes we are making major investments right across the borough - areas like Twickenham, Whitton and Hampton North, neglected by the Lib Dems for years.
“Every one of these projects has been designed after consultation with local people and using high quality materials that will last and benefit communities for years to come.
“Our residents are very proud of the borough, as they clearly demonstrated in the recent residents’ survey and I do not think they would want to see inferior materials used along this historic stretch of the riverside.”