“We want to see tangible benefits for the local community, so it’s about enhancing service delivery.

“We have a responsibility to ensure that this money is spent, and it does not end up just sitting in someone else’s bank account.”

Officers had proposed that projects should have used all the money by the end of 2019-20, but this will now be reconsidered after scrutiny committee members insisted this was unrealistic.

Cllr Amanda Stott, independent, said: “You are asking for really big projects to be completed in 18 months.”

Cllr Sarah Pochin, Conservative, added: “It might be small money for CEC, but at ward level with the time it takes to mobilise, 18 months will go like a flash.