BENDIGO council candidate Dave Fagg has called for greater spending in the city's neighbourhoods, citing a "pressing need to invest in social infrastructure".
The Whipstick Ward hopeful said it was clear from the draft 2020/21 council budget most spending was concentrated in the Bendigo CBD.
He acknowledged the need for investment in "significant" council assets, such as the Bendigo Art Gallery and Hargreaves Mall.
But Mr Fagg also sought to highlight the needs of the city's growing neighbourhoods.
"Areas like Long Gully and Golden Square are almost completely neglected, and the northern growth corridor through to Huntly needs more community infrastructure," he said.
Story continues after map, supplied by Dave Fagg
He said ratepayers wanted a community hub in Huntly, as well with a community plan to guide the development of Long Gully.
A new Long Gully Community Plan will form part of the proposed budget council will consider adopting at its July meeting, tomorrow night.
Mr Fagg also called on council and VicRoads to work together to overcome safety issues in relation to off-road paths and cycle tracks.
"The Greater Bendigo council wants people to get active by using our network of off-road paths, and walking and cycling are the top two ways we get regular exercise. But many road crossings are so unsafe that people are discouraged from using them," he said.
In a joint submission to the city's budget, St Matthew's Church - where Mr Fagg works - and the Long Gully Neighbourhood Centre identified four points along the linear trail in need of crossings.
They included Creeth Street/Sparrowhawk Road, Eaglehawk Road, Prouses Road near Kalianna School, and Finn Street near Thales Bendigo.
Fellow Whipstick Ward candidate Thomas Prince and Eppalock Ward candidate Matthew Evans backed Mr Fagg's calls for increased spending outside of the Bendigo CBD.
Mr Prince said the spread of spending in the proposed budget seemed to reflect "a neglect" towards funding projects in the Long Gully area for a number of years.
He suggested the council assess which areas had "missed out" on investments in the past 20 years.
Mr Prince had previously shared the belief council spending had been lacking in Long Gully and California Gully.
Community spaces, footpaths and pathways were among the investments he believed the area needed.
Mr Evans said council's capital works investments needed to not only be spread across neighbourhoods in Bendigo, but also rural areas.
The Eppalock Ward includes communities such as Heathcote.
Mr Evans said a survey he had been conducting indicated people in the city's rural areas were quite happy with what the council did, but would like to see more investment in community areas.
City of Greater Bendigo chief executive Craig Niemann said council budgets were set for the whole municipality and could not be considered in isolation.
"Council sets an annual budget, so there will be investment in different areas at different times, based on community need and also what infrastructure is required to be upgraded, replaced or is new," Mr Niemann said.
"Budget funds must also be distributed to construct and maintain civil infrastructure, like roads, drains and footpaths, and continue service delivery.
"It takes approximately six to eight months to set the budget each year, so allocations towards projects follow a rigorous assessment by council and there is always a desire to do more than what the available funds allow."
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.