COMPENSATION money due to be paid to the City of London by the Metropolitan Police will be spent on relining a leaky pond.

But members of a local conservation group are unhappy the £170,000 lump sum is being spent on Jubilee Pond, which they believe should be repaired using the Corporation’s own money.

The Met will hand over the cash by way of compensation for disruption which will be caused when they build a temporary Olympic base on Wanstead Flats later this year.

The Corporation conducted a public consultation during September and October last year asking the public to vote on various options for spending the cash.

A total of 176 votes were cast, with the relining of Jubilee Pond emerging the winner – a decision which was rubber-stamped by the Corporation last week.

Members of the Wanstead Parklands Community Project say the pond only needs work because contractors hired by the Corporation made a mess of relining work.

Spokesman Alan Cornish, said: “The compensation money is not some god given excuse for them to escape their responsibility.

“If they are going to take this money, then they should spend £170,000 of their own money elsewhere in the park on something like Heronry Pond.

“They agreed to the idea of improving Jubilee Pond some years ago.

“But it was not done properly and that’s why it is in such a sorry state.”

Fellow member Richard Arnopp said: “We understand that members of a local residents group around Jubilee Pond lobbied for that project during the consultation and mobilised quite a bit of support.

“But we were sympathetic to the idea that the money the Corporation should be putting towards Jubilee Pond should be from its own general funds.

“If the money were to be used on the flats there are some useful things which could be done around Alexandra Lake for example.”

Paul Thomson, the City of London Corporation’s Superintendent at Epping Forest, said: “The consultation resulted in the majority of the public participants indicating a preference to improve the Jubilee Pond, which requires works to reinforce its clay liner, improve areas for marginal planting and improve public access.

"The overall costs of redeveloping the Pond will exceed the £170k, and so the City of London Corporation will be examining ways it might make a contribution to the works.

"The Heritage Lottery Fund will also contribute £80k, which will pay for landscaping – installing trees, access trails, a dipping platform, a play area and more.”

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