Horse trading begins on how to spend cash

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Residents in the small hamlet of Waterfoot are calling for a public meeting for people to air their views on how best to spend a windfall of £150,000 assigned to the community as part of a deal with housebuiilder CALA Homes.

One resident warned that no money should be spent on projects that are the responsibility of the landowner or under council management such as was reported in The Extra last week, including repairing a crumbling wall and a car park that is in need of a facelift.

The original idea of a play park with football pitch is not out of the running, according to Waterfoot Action organiser John McCourt.

Others ideas that have already been mooted include a larger than lifesize bronze statue of former first minister Alex Salmond; £150,000 of lottery tickets; and even a community-owned racehorse.

Mr McCourt was keen to make the point that no individual or group is intent on hi-jacking the issue. He said: “We’re hoping to persuade East Ren Council to fund a maildrop to all households in Waterfoot so that everyone is aware of the situation.

“In the meantime, I know [resident] Bob Vennor has volunteered to try to go door-to-door and we’ll put a message up on Facebook as well as emailing Waterfoot Action members. I believe the community council will the same.

“There’s no deadline on this so we can take our time and make sure everyone gets a say. The council has already offered to meet the bill for costing all proposals on the table, and the original play park is still a possibility, if that’s what people want.”