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Last Updated: Friday, 15 August, 2003, 18:55 GMT 19:55 UK
Marsh Farm trust hits back at critics
Marsh Farm mural
More than 43m of public money has been invested in the estate
The group in charge of regenerating one of Luton's most deprived areas is hitting back at a report criticising the way it works.

The Marsh Farm Community Development Trust is angry its reputation has been tarnished by the allegations.

More than 43m of public money has been invested in trying to turn around the fortunes of one of the country's most run-down housing estates.

Two weeks ago, an independent report, commissioned by Luton Borough Council and Go-East, accused the Trust of mismanaging its multi-million pound budget and of letting down the community it is supposed to be helping.

They are charges the Trust's members are quick to deny.

Marsh Farm
The estate is one of the most run-down in the country
"We are here to talk to. We walk the streets," said Tony Gamble, of the Community Development Trust.

We are here and people stop us and ask 'What is happening to that project?' and we can give them a clear answer.

"If we are talking mismanagement we wouldn't be able to do that."

Luton Borough Council is standing by the report as one of "a range of considerations being used to form an improvement plan".

The authority is also pledging to work in partnership with the Trust to "move the situation forward".

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