A Labour councillor has slammed plans to help Surrey County Council meet the costs of redeveloping the Epsom town centre.

Epsom and Ewell borough council has voted on Wednesday to approve plans to spend an additional £2.245 million to help Surrey council undertake the works to Market Place and the Northern High Street.

Surrey county council has requested an additional £2.245m in funding due to ‘increased costs’ after it did not secure a second funding bid from Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership.

The extra cash would come from the council’s community infrastructure levy (CIL), which is paid by developers when building in the area.

Under central government rules, the levy can only be used to help deliver infrastructure improvements in the local area.

Labour Cllr Kate Chinn said: “We are bailing out the county council. They over-spent. The residents’ association have agreed to bail out the county council.

“Surrey county council should have paid us or we should have waited until we had the money, because we have no CIL money left.

“This leaves the CIL funding at just £0.278m, when the council knows there will be shortages in school places in both primary and secondary schools.”

The Court Ward councillor added: “Of course the Labour councillors agree that making the town attractive for visitors is important. However I voted against it as I am not sure renewing some paving is the answer.

“Online shopping is constantly increasing so the town needs to add extras that make the town attractive and draws people into the shops and to meet friends and socialise.”

A Surrey County Council spokesman said: “This is the first major project we’ve worked on with a borough or district which has been funded through the Local Enterprise Partnership and the short time frames available to develop the scheme meant it wasn’t fully finalised until after the funding was agreed.

"This meant the original estimates were too low and additional funding is required to complete it.

“We’ve been working closely with Epsom and Ewell borough council to help bring this project to a conclusion. We’ve agreed to fund the shortfall in the highway works and because of the importance of the marketplace, Epsom and Ewell has agreed to bridge the gap in the funding for this part of the project.”