A councillor wants ring-fenced cash intended to help Ukrainian refugees and asylum seekers to be spent on cleaning up dog poo instead.

But he’s been told the move would be “wholly inappropriate” and likely to be unlawful.

The city council is working towards making Worcester a City of Sanctuary, which would recognise its culture of solidarity, inclusiveness and welcome.

The council’s Communities committee decided in January to allocate £86,515 over three years towards the project.

Tory councillor Alan Amos, in a council meeting on Tuesday, March 26, asked joint leader Lynn Denham why “spending £90,000 on becoming a City of Sanctuary for asylum seekers is more important than spending an extra £90,000 to clear up litter and dog mess and keep our streets clean and safe?”

He added: “Last week a large bin at the entrance to Pitmaston Park hadn’t been emptied for so long that bags of dog poo were lying on top of it and all around it.

“When I asked why this had happened I was told the two collection vehicles had both broken down, so doesn’t this prove the city’s cleaning and litter budgets have absolutely no resilience within them when at least this £90,000 could be used to buy another collection van?”

Cllr Denham responded: “I’m not aware of the quantity of dog poo within Cllr Amos’s ward.

“The funding for the City of Sanctuary was approved by the Communities committee to pay for a project officer to support this work to provide them with a small revenue support budget.

“Both elements of that will be funded by the Homes for Ukraine reserve grant and the Dispersed Accommodation grant, both of which are provided to the council by the government and both of which are ring-fenced.

“It’s not funded from the council’s core budget and it will not create a revenue pressure.

“Spending money on street cleansing from the Homes for Ukraine grant or Dispersed Accommodation grant would be wholly inappropriate use of that grant and one that would likely be unlawful.

“The budget for the forthcoming year was agreed at our last council meeting and no amendment was tabled with regard to the expenditure that you’re raising.”