CONCERNS over focused spending on improvements to Christchurch town centre have been down played by councillors.

A report on repair work needed to Highcliffe zig zag was distributed to members of Christchurch Borough Council.

Reference is made to "more pressing" projects, which could impact on any decisions made about the repairs to the footway.

The zig zag report says: "The council has competing and potentially more pressing priorities for funding which it is considered should take preference over this project.

"These include investment in assets such as Two Riversmeet Leisure Centre and the Regent Centre."

In July the Regent Centre was subject to an extended closure after a structural issue was discovered.

Further investigatory work took place at the auditorium last week, before the council decides the best course of action.

However, Cllr Lesley Dedman said any perception of other areas in the borough not getting support was inaccurate.

"To talk about a fair share of resources is not right as you can't operate in this way," she said.

"The council needs to do jobs and spend money when the work needs doing.

"People in Highcliffe may have a perception that we do not get a fair crack of the whip but a lot of the issues they raise are down to the county council.

"I have spoken to council officers and said that I'm concerned while they need to spend the funding fully, we need to make sure Highcliffe people are not losing out on this.

"The cost involved with the zig zag is substantial and there needs to be a middle ground option we can consider."

Cllr Trish Jamieson said: "I think in a way Highcliffe does get support because of the castle. A lot of money has gone into it for many years and we're talking about large sums.

"The zig zag is a very difficult decision to make. It was used by people with disabilities but we also realise de haven't got an infinite amount of money in front of us.

"We can't have the zig zag open unless it is safe and that is the priority above all else."