Community campaigners in Brechin have lodged a formal complaint over a £1 million Angus town centres fund.
All Scottish councils received a ring-fenced pot of cash from the Scottish Government in 2019 to spend on projects that would improve or regenerate town centres.
The Brechin Community Council complaint alleges that the way money is being invested in projects in Forfar, Montrose and Arbroath breaks the application rules.
Jill Scott, who chairs the community council, said: “Many residents are deeply unhappy when they have seen what other towns are funding.
“We are aware that there was a consultation asking the community to put forward suggestions for town centre funding.
“The criteria was very clear. It was to be capital funding with no ongoing revenue costs.”
She said officers had instead awarded funding to projects with ongoing costs, such as toilets at Forfar Loch, an upgrade of play equipment at Forfar, toilets at Montrose, and an upgrade of crazy golf facilities at Arbroath, and that people in Brechin felt they had missed out by abiding by the regulations.
“The criteria was clear,” she said.
“So can we ask why these other towns have had projects approved with ongoing costs?”
The final allocations have provoked debate across the county. The latest controversy follows almost two years of discussions, a public consultation and several council meetings to decide how best to distribute the cash.
Refreshed plans to spend more than £200,000 from the fund on a crazy golf course in Arbroath have also spilt public opinion.
Ms Scott said not enough work has been done with Brechin community groups to make them aware of the funding opportunities open to them.
She added: “We have contacted several community groups to ask whether anyone from Angus Council had made them aware of the chance to bid for funding.
“The answer from all has been clear. They were not contacted at all.”
£128k for Brechin cemetery den
Under the current settlement, councillors have until September 30 to spend the money or risk seeing it returned to the Scottish Government.
According to the latest council figures, Brechin has been allocated around £128,000 from the overall Angus pot of £1.08 million.
A refurbishment of the town’s cemetery den will receive more than £105,000 . The plans include a play area, picnic benches and a moveable bandstand.
The remaining funding will spent on an app for tourists and on a general town centre maintenance.
An Angus Council spokeswoman said: “I can confirm that we have received the complaint. We are in the process of responding directly to the community council.”