£50,000 precept rise to pay for town projects

Amble War Memorial.
 Picture by Jane Coltman
Amble War Memorial. Picture by Jane Coltman

Amble Town Council is to up its precept by £50,000, to pay for CCTV, new and improved signage and crucial repairs to the war memorial.

Town Mayor Jane Dargue said that these three issues were dear to the public’s heart and Coun Helen Lewis said that other areas of the budget have been pruned to make savings elsewhere.

It means that the precept will stand at nearly £175,000 for the 2017/18 financial year; up from 124,300 for 2015/16.

The town council has allocated £30,000 for the repair costs to Amble War Memorial, approximately £20,000 for CCTV and £5,000 for signage.

The Mayor said: “These subjects are dear to the public’s heart and they would expect us to take ownership of these things.”

Coun Lewis added: “There have been calls for CCTV, the war memorial is in the heart of the community and it will lead to better and improved signage around the town.

“These are three big projects and we have pruned the budget where we can to save money in other areas.”

Lengthy and costly repair work is needed to the war memorial after the structure suffered water damage, caused by five footballs and a tennis ball on the roof which blocked the drainage system and flooded the roof.

An independent campaign is being launched next month to help raise funds for the work.

The town council has agreed in principle for new CCTV, including in areas such as Paddlers Park and central areas of the town, focusing on Queen Street.

Councillors feel new and improved signage is needed for the town, such as updating information boards for the newly-named and recently-transformed Paddlers Park.

Members hope that the precept rise will be cushioned slightly by the additional houses which were built and occupied in the town in the last year.