PLANS to regenerate a run-down part of Church have been slammed by Labour councillors.
Angry members criticised plans to give Blackpool Street and South Shore Street a facelift, calling the Tory scheme a waste of money.
Councillor Bernard Dawson, who called the scheme into an Overview and Scrutiny meeting, said he wondered why Church had been chosen ahead of other run-down areas in the borough.
He also raised fears that the plans, which involve refurbishing six council-owned houses and an equity loan scheme for the remaining 16 houses, would ultimately cost more than the £300,000 budgeted for.
Concerns were also raised over landlords of the 11 rented properties either not participating in the scheme at all or taking advantage of the loan scheme to their own financial benefit.
Councillor Tony Dobson, Cabinet portfolio holder for regeneration, replied that the six council houses were adding to the degeneration of the area and the council had a duty to gut the homes and make them habitable to a high standard.
He said the two streets had been chosen because they are in a small compact area which lent itself to a small-scale, self-funding scheme, with any profits made being re-invested in environmental improvements in the area.
Regarding landlord participation, he called the scheme the "carrot and stick" and said he was sure accredited landlords would want to access the money and be part of the improvements which would have to meet the council's criteria.
Summing up, Councillor Dawson said: "We all want to see areas improved but we have reservations over funding.
"We're being told this is self- funding but only if everything works and if the houses are ultimately sold at a profit. We're talking about a lot of money and a lot less money for other areas."
The committee made a number of recommendations which included the use of any surplus money made in the scheme to be put in the equity loan pot for other areas in the borough, a signed commitment from Elevate backing the idea and for the scheme to be monitored by the Scrutiny Committee over the next six months.