MONEY paid out by the developers behind Chipping Sodbury’s new Waitrose supermarket is to be spent on facilities in Yate, sparking anger among councillors who say the funding should stay local.

Chelverton Deeley Freed has paid South Gloucestershire Council £36,000 for library provision, part of a £1.5million deal known as a Section 106 agreement to offset the impact of the store, which is due to open on October 10, and 160 houses which will be built at Barnhill Quarry at a later date.

The council’s library department last week confirmed to Sodbury Town Council that it would be spending 70 per cent of the funding on improving Yate Library.

Cllr Adrian Rush (Lib Dem, Chipping Sodbury) said: "I don’t think it is right.

"We could use that money to fund two extra staff to open more hours over three years. But the library department won’t want to do that. They consider Chipping Sodbury to be just a little library.

"We do have a bit of a fight on our hands."

Chipping Sodbury Library, based in the Old Grammar School on High Street, currently only opens on Tuesdays and Wednesdays and Friday and Saturday mornings. Yate Library opens for longer hours every day except Wednesday and was the subject of a £1.5million extension and refurbishment reopening in 2010.

Sodbury mayor Cllr Wendy Whittle said Chipping Sodbury Library, the smallest in South Gloucestershire, was already facing funding cuts.

"I am a bit worried already because our library could close through lack of funds," she said. "South Gloucestershire Council are cutting back anyway so to be told this money is going to Yate instead of Sodbury, well, I am not very happy.

"We were not consulted and why should the money go to Yate when we have a library here? A lot of elderly people live in Sodbury and they like being able to walk to their library which is really nice and friendly.

"I feel the money should go to our own library in Chipping Sodbury, especially as we have had to put up with the development."

Town councillor Paul Whittle added: "At a meeting last Monday (July 8) we were told the Section 106 money for highway improvements had to be spent locally, on roads in Chipping Sodbury, and now we are being told the money for libraries is being spent in Yate.

"Our argument is surely the library money should be kept local as well?"

A South Gloucestershire Council spokesman said: “The Section 106 agreement for the Barnhll Quarry development includes a contribution of approximately £35,000 to local library services, recognising that the new development will increase demand for these services in the local area.

“Officers' analysis of future demand suggests that many new residents are likely to use Yate Library while visiting the shopping centre in Yate and reflecting this, the amount agreed is based on a contribution towards an extension at Yate Library to meet the increased demand from the residents as well as new stock and IT for both Chipping Sodbury and Yate libraries.

“It is important to note that the Section 106 monies are for capital expenditure and cannot be used to extend opening hours at either library.”