Councils have no idea how to spend High Street fund
It seems that one of the reasons the British high street looks like a boulevard of broken dreams is because your local council is made up of dim, pie eating Fred Elliots with no imagination.
The £10 million High Street Innovation fund, set up by the government after Mary Portas’ report - has hardly been touched, apart from to buy some fairy lights and put a ramp in a train station.
100 councils, who had been identified as having the worst high streets, received the award. But only 7% of the money has been used – and out of 72 councils, 47 said they had yet to touch it.
The councils who had spent money included Swale Borough Council in Kent, who splurged £164.60 on a snow machine, because you know, that’ll fix EVERYTHING.
A government spokesman said: "We would rather councils spend this money strategically and wisely, to ensure long term success for our High Streets, than rush to spend it and waste taxpayers' money in the process."
But given the bureaucracy and spectacular dearth of imagination in your average local council, can they be trusted to spend it wisely at all? What’s stopping them from spunking it all on vending machines and bouncy castles?
(Actually that would be quite good.)