SENIOR officers at Shropshire Council have admitted they must improve their communication with local authorities over development contributions.

The unitary authority has received more than £17 million over the last six years through the community infrastructure levy (CIL) and Section 106 agreements paid by developers.

But it has been criticised by parish and town councils for not reinvesting the funds.

Gemma Davies, head of economic growth, said: “We know we need to do more to communicate around this work, but it is very complex.

“We are working with parish and town councils on that, talking to locally elected members and the Town and Parish Forum.

“But yes, the communication needs to be better.”

Next Wednesday [November 7] will see a proposal go before Cabinet members which will add critical and strategic programmes that can benefit from the funds.

The CIL Regulation 123 List currently covers 2016/17 and officers say the new projects will bring it up to date.

These include creating two new classrooms and refurbishing two more classrooms at Whitchurch Junior School which will cost £590,000 and  creating a new classroom at Baschurch Primary School costing £255,000.

They also want to develop the Whitchurch South foul drainage improvement scheme which is expected to cost between £700,000 and £900,000.

Councillor Robert Macey, portfolio holder for housing, stressed that the proposal going before Cabinet is just about the 123 List.

But he added: “We have written to town and parish councils about work over the coming months including the 123 List, spending priorities and how we are looking at CIL.

“Part of our approach has always been about communication so that they are part of that process and that hasn’t changed, we still want to communicate but CIL has become more complex.”

Cllr Macey noted that the last two years have seen “a record number” of new homes being built across Shropshire which has seen the amount of funding received by the council increase.