Marlow has been described as ‘one of the wealthiest white middle-class towns in the country’, after Wycombe District Council were criticised for giving the town a £100,000 grant to improve the area.

Abigail Mattingly, who is a member of the Wycombe Labour Executive Committee, shared her displeasure on Twitter after we published an article on January 16 explaining what the money will be used for.

Speaking on social media, she said: “Surprise surprise, give away a 100k grant to one of the wealthiest, white middle-class towns in the country, whilst surrounding towns with higher diversity and poverty rates are left to rot.

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“For anyone not familiar with the area, Marlow is an extremely wealthy town (beautiful, undeniably) that is tended to with the greatest care from its High Street to its park.

“It’s also a five-minute drive away from High Wycombe - a town which is undeniably less wealthy, where public services have been cut, we have a failing bus system and empty stores dotted along the High Street."

Following her comments, we contacted Ms Mattingly to explain her views.

She said: “It seems absurd to me that, out of all the areas Wycombe District Council serves, Marlow would be a first choice for a £100,000 grant.

“Any investment into Buckinghamshire should obviously be more than welcome – but this suggestion should be thoroughly scrutinised.

“Marlow is a beautiful, pristine and well-kept town, with a flourishing High Street and a gorgeous riverside.

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“It’s also just five miles away from Wycombe Town Centre, where the High Street is full of boarded-up shops and people without a bed to sleep in.”

The £100,000 will go towards improving The Causeway and the lights on Marlow Bridge amongst other initiatives.

Ms Mattingly continued: “The idea to introduce water refill stations is an excellent example of how the money should be spent.

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“If we want this money that seems to be floating around WDC to truly improve the lives of residents, let’s distribute it around the district and focus it where it’s truly needed: those areas with high poverty rates and foodbank usages – not where it’s just used to decorate an already prosperous town.”

Wycombe District Council responded with the breakdown of how they give out their grants.

A spokesperson said: “Last July, Wycombe District Council’s Cabinet approved the allocation over £1million to be spread across the Wycombe district to support the local economy.

“The money was allocated as follows:

High Wycombe - £300,000 for the revitalisation of the High Street; plus £150,000 for a business improvement district for Cressex

Princes Risborough - £250,000 for the revitalisation of the High Street and other schemes to be identified by the town council

Marlow - £100,000 for schemes to be determined by the town council; plus £50,000 for Globe Park Business Improvement District to embed sustainable transport schemes

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Wooburn and Bourne End - £75,000 for schemes to be defined by the parish council

Rural areas - £75,000 to be defined in consultation for the leader, including scope for funds to be used as a contribution to future broadband provision

“The money was allocated based on the ten strategic objectives set out in the council’s economic development strategy.

“A copy of the report – which was discussed in public – can be found on our here.”

Marlow Town Council said: "On reflection, I don’t think this is for us to answer as it is a WDC fund so more a question for them."