So how does this little CIL scandal work?

There were we dumb souls here at the Waverley Web believing that CIL payments made by developers towards community projects were sacrosanct.  

Monies ring-fenced for community projects and infrastructure improvements in the towns and villages where development occurred.

The clouds gather over Woking.

We now know that more than £1million in payments made by developers has been wiped out by Woking Borough Council’s bankruptcy!

There were we simple souls who believed that when developers were obliged to dig deep into their deep pockets to provide (CIL) Community Infrastructure Levies, the money held by councils belonged to the communities where development had taken place. Well, so far, so good; it may be so in Waverley, but not in Woking.

So, will ‘Your Waverley’ officers please tell us – How much CIL money you hold? And where is it held?

When the bean counters searched the council’s accounts, all was revealed. The cupboard was bare of CIL when the horrifying deficit of £ 1.2 billion and £11m annual budget shortfall was revealed.

So has the interim chief finance officer’s response to questions about where the money had gone opened up an actual can of worms. Just as a matter of interest, he, too, has now left the authority. 

Brendan Arnold said: “The practice nationally, as far as I’m aware, in all councils that I have been associated with is to keep the sums, as with many others, which are part of reserves and other balances held on the council;’s balance sheet, on a separate ledger account.

In short, to Mind The Gap – the massive gap in Woking’s finances, the distribution of CIL has been paused.

So all those areas of Woking that endured huge developments and who had hoped they might see infrastructure improvements now have to wait for the council’s finances to improve.

He said the £1.2m deficit was the largest charge of any revenue account of its kind in UK Local Government – and had effectively wiped out the value of any cash the council may have had.”

He stressed that the council would honour its commitments through CIL but had to deal with its crushing debt before it could do so.”



3 thoughts on “So how does this little CIL scandal work?”

  1. (that took some finding on Waverley’s website)
    Waverley’s CIL dashboard shows that there is £6.4m of strategic CIL sitting somewhere (probably on a short term interest account) But it also shows the large slice taken for “CIL Admin” so considering that, why is there over £10m uncollected CIL monies due from developers large and small. That would certainly go a long way to helping our creaking infrastructure.

  2. “The Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) is a planning charge, introduced by the Government through the Planning Act 2008 to provide a fair and transparent means for ensuring that development contributes to the cost of the infrastructure it will rely upon, such as schools and roads.”

    The benefits of the Community Infrastructure Levy include being “able to understand how new development is contributing the community and enabling local authorities to allocate a share of the levy raised in a neighbourhood to deliver infrastructure the neighbourhood wants.”

    This begs the question why residents have to wait for the improvement in the authority’s finances for the infrastructure improvements. The money was allocated to infrastructure and should have been ring fenced. Whilst regulations change there was a cap on administration costs.

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