Laura Sharman 11 November 2020

Allocation of £3.6bn towns fund appears 'politically motivated', watchdog warns

Allocation of £3.6bn towns fund appears politically motivated, watchdog warns image

The Government has been accused of 'political bias' when allocating funding from its £3.6bn Towns Fund by the public spending watchdog.

In a new report, the Public Accounts Committee said it was 'not convinced by the rationales' used for selecting certain towns and not others.

The report said the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) had not been open about the process it followed for selected or excluding towns for the fund.

Meg Hillier, chair of the Committee, said: 'In our programme of work on the Government response to the Covid pandemic, we have begun to see the grim, potentially huge costs of public spending made in haste and without all the usual, legal checks and controls. That makes it all the less acceptable to now be looking at billions of pounds handed out in an opaque process that has every appearance of having been politically motivated - long before Covid struck.

'Now, when every penny counts, and when some towns that won funding will almost certainly have to redirect it to fill the massive holes the pandemic has blown in their budgets, MHCLG must be open and transparent about the decisions it made to hand out those £billions of taxpayers’ money, and what it expects to deliver.'

The committee also warned MHCLG was unclear on what it expects from the Towns Fund and how it will measure success.

SIGN UP
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Social Worker - Early Interventions

Essex County Council
£32065 - £43839 per annum
Social Worker - Early Interventions Permanent, Full Time £32,065 - £43,839 per annum Location
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Social Worker - Local Linked Support Team

Essex County Council
£32065 - £43839 per annum
This is a full time fixed term contract for 12 month or a 12 month Secondment.About the RoleThis is a community-based role within the Harlow area. You England, Essex, Epping
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Property and Projects Lawyer

Brent Council
£43,860 - £49,827 p.a. inc.(pro rata)
The successful candidate will have the opportunity to supervise junior staff and deputise in the absence of the Senior Property Lawyer. Wembley, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Brent Council

Business Support Officer

Camden London Borough Council
£29,359
We have recently changed the way that we work so that we are more responsive to... Camden, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Camden London Borough Council

Accountancy and Business Change Manager

Royal Borough of Greenwich
£49.827 - £52.866
An opportunity has arisen within our Accountancy Business Partnership Service for an Accountancy Business Change Manager. Reporting Greenwich, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Royal Borough of Greenwich

Public Property

Latest issue - Public Property News

This issue of Public Property examines how how flexible workspaces can lead the way in regeneration for local authorities, Why local authority intervention is key to successful urban regeneration schemes and if the Government’s challenge of embracing beauty is an opportunity for communities.

The March issue also takes a closer look at Blackburn with Darwen Council's first digital health hub to help people gain control over health and care services.

Register for your free digital issue