GROWING speculation a £912,000 project to revitalise parts of Diglis could be scaled-back has been denied by Worcester City Council.
The city’s former Labour-led cabinet approved plans to revamp Diglis Playing Fields and re-install a popular play area off Waverley Street in April.
Coun Lynn Denham, councillor for the area, said rumours were circulating on an internet forum that “most of the money” allocated for the Diglis Public Realm Project would instead be used to improve the riverside area.
However, Coun Andy Roberts, cabinet member for a Cleaner and Greener City, firmly rejected the claims at its latest meeting.
The project, which has been made possible thanks to planning money from five developers, would see the creation of an outdoor gym and a number of new entrances to Diglis Playing Fields. But Coun Denham said concerns were being raised in Diglis that the Conservative-led council had agreed to use the money elsewhere.
“There are rumours on the open discussion forum, Diglis.com, that a deal has been made by the Friends of Diglis Fields Group and the Cleaner and Greener department to spend most of the money on the riverside area,” Coun Denham said.
The Labour councillor also criticised the Tory leadership for not publishing the results of the public consultation, which ended in June.
But Coun Roberts said he had received an apology from officers which said the preparations of the Worcester Show had caused the delay.
“Officers are disappointed that it has taken a little longer than expected but I am absolutely positive they will get it ready,” Coun Roberts said. “I fully support the way that the officers have managed this project so far although I understand that it is always best to let people know the outcome of consultations as soon as possible.”
In response to the rumours that Friends of Diglis Fields and the council had agreed to use funds to revitalise the riverside area, Coun Roberts added: “If there was a deal like that had been drawn up I would have been party to it, but I am not, so it is not there.”