PUBLIC pressure is mounting on Bromsgrove District Council bosses to play fair with angry Hagley residents over the New Homes Bonus scheme.

They believe money passed down from the Government should be ploughed back into communities which have been affected by housing development.

A 1,429 name petition was presented to the district council in April, urging them to pass this money on.

As a result, more than 50 members of the public - representing Hagley, Belbroughton and Clent - attended a New Homes Bonus public forum, which was held by a cross party committee at Bromsgrove Council House, imploring council members to honour what the scheme was originally intended for.

They argued the money should be used to the benefit of existing facilities, such as improving local community centres and providing funding for local scout, guides sports clubs and other community groups across the district.

The residents have already received the backing of town MP Sajid Javid who has written to Bromsgrove District Council leader, Cllr Margaret Sherrey, inviting her to reconsider and change council policy so that the money can be passed on to local communities.

Hagley Residents Action Group spokesman Peter Rowbottom said: "It's most disappointing that for the past four years the ruling Conservative group at Bromsgrove District Council have repeatedly voted for the New Homes Bonus money to be kept from local affected communities.

"Surely now, with over 1,400 people signing the petition, numerous parish councils asking for the money to be passed on and Bromsgrove MP and cabinet minister Sajid Javid also asking the council leader to reconsider the policy, it's time for the council to do the right thing and hand this money over to deserving communities for spending on much needed improvements to facilities and community groups."

Cllr Sherrey said: "We have a working group, waiting to meet again - hopefully in September. "I can not commit, yes or no, while it is going through the process, and needs to be considered within the council's budget."

The cross party committee is expected to submit a report to a full council meeting next month making recommendations before a vote is taken on what the money should be used for.