£100k loan for memorial hall gardens revamp
Newmarket Town Council is set to borrow £100,000 to help pay for the re-design and refurbishment of the memorial hall gardens.
The authority already has just over £200,000 dedicated to the project but at a meeting on Monday, councillors heard the anticipated cost was likely to be in the region of £300,000.
Other funding ideas were being pursued but the council’s community services and leisure services committees, for whom the refurbishment is a joint project, asked for approval to take out a government loan if other funding was not forthcoming.
Town council manager Roberta Bennett told councillors they could take out a loan from the Treasury without having to raise its Council Tax demand.
She said the cost of the loan over five years would be £104,847.
“The council’s current medium term financial plan and budget proposals allow an amount of £30,000 to be put into earmarked reserves for the purposes of the memorial hall gardens. It is feasible to divert £21,000 per year of this to repay a loan over the next five years while the remainder continues to go into the reserves. Once the the loan is repaid the full amount would continue to the reserves,” she said.
Cllr Philippa Winter, chairman of community services, said: “We hope to have the refurbished gardens open by spring of next year. We kept putting it off and putting it off but we must do this. It was felt that all the play equipment was out of date and we want to make the gardens a pleasant place for the whole town to enjoy.”
Cllr Robert Nobbs, chairman of leisure services, added: “It will be a total redesign. We have been out to consultation with local schools and what we have come up is what children have told us they want. The memorial hall gardens are well past their sell-by date and the current equipment is costing a lot to maintain. We could easily pay four times the cost of the loan in maintenance.”
Cllr Dave Hudson said he was concerned by the cost of the project. “I think its expensive,” he said.
To comment on the proposal to refurbish the gardens, email firstname.lastname@example.org