MORE understanding is needed on the process of how millions of pounds community funds in Basingstoke and Deane are released, according to councillors.

As previously reported in The Gazette, it has been claimed nearly £8.5 million in money from developers is not being correctly allocated by Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council.

Councillors had raised concerns this money, used to improve communities and community facilities, was not being released.

At a scrutiny committee meeting on January 22, councillors discussed what the best process going forward would be to ensure money under section 106 is being granted correctly.

Under section 106 agreements, money is allocated as part of planning allocation or grants to deal with the maintenance and infrastructure of communities in the borough.

Having previously raised the issue, Bramley and Sherfiled ward councillor Venetia Rowland said that her and her fellow ward councillor Nick Robison have grown “frustrated” with the “lack of progress” in funds being released.

Addressing the meeting, Cllr Rowland said: “Bramley Parish Council has been trying to chase for some funds for some time, there has been £74,944 allocated to Bramley Football Club which is just sitting there.

“The parish would like to see these funds allocated to other community projects, but because of the current process it is not possible as these funds were allocated to the football club.”

She added: “I have been having this conversation for two-and-half-years and it seems that we have been going around in circles.”

Vice chair of the scrutiny committee, Cllr Paul Miller, said the way s106 is allocated was changed on a national level, which “complicated things”.

He said: “About four or five years ago the whole system changed, whereas previously it was very flexible.

“Since the rules were changed at a national level we seem to have lost track of what the process is, and what is being highlighted by Councillor Rowland is the lack of communication.”

The committee concluded clarity is needed on the process taken to draw up s106 agreements with projects as well as looking into how the money is spent.

Chair of the meeting, Cllr David Potter added: “We need a better understanding of the whole process and to have clarity on this issue.”

Officers will now draw up a draft report for councillors.