Express & Star

Tackling crime or nicer town centre: Hundreds turn out to discuss how to spend Levelling Up cash

More than 200 people packed out Darlaston Town Hall to debate what millions of pounds of Levelling Up funding can be spent on to improve the area.


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Residents spoke with passion about the money being spent to make them feel safer after a perceived spike in crime whereas others wanted the town centre brought back to its former glory.

The joy stemming from the Government promise last October to spend £20 million over the next ten years has made way for arguments how the money should be spent.

There was also anger at the lack of community representation on the newly formed Darlaston Levelling Up Partnership Board who were at the front of the hall.

Newly elected Labour Councillor Lucie Nahal promised the Darlaston Levelling Up Partnership Board process to decide where the money will be allocated will be held in public.

She said: "I am on the board and I have made clear decisions need to be made in public. We need to make sure in 10 years' time we can see where the money has been spent and the difference it made."

The Darlaston Levelling Up Partnership Board fielded questions from the public

The first deadline for decisions to be made about what the money will be spent on is August 1. Darlaston resident Julie, who did not want to give her second name, challenged councillors after the meeting about the decision making.