Improvement works to Richmond Riverside are robbing other areas of much-needed cash, critics claim.

Nearly half of the £550,000 for a refurbishment scheme on the treasured riverside has come from nine projects in the Hamptons, totalling £264,000.

Another £18,000 is coming from South Twickenham in a move that has been criticised.

Leader of the opposition in Richmond Councillor Stephen Knight said: “It is effectively robbing money from other areas of the borough and using it to put up ornate lighting columns in a half a million pound scheme to tart up Richmond Riverside at the expense of other areas.”

Work to Richmond will see the riverside resurfaced with high quality granite paving slab, ornate lighting columns installed and CCTV poles replaced in more ornate styles.

Work on the riverside is planned to take place in the autumn.

Councillor Geoffrey Samuel, Richmond Council’s deputy leader and ward member for Hampton North, said that the money from planning contributions was not tied to specific areas.

He said: “You make a contribution to the community. To suggest that this is then limited to a ward or service is simply untrue.

“We are spending it on Richmond Riverside and we are spending it on Twickenham.

“To suggest that my ward that has had all that money spent on a new square is worse off is simply outrageous.”