‘Spend it’: Calls for Spilsby council to spend its reserves

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Members of the community in Spilsby are calling on the town council to dip into its reserves and spend some cash.

The subject was raised at the annual meeting of Spilsby Town Council, when Elaine Lowe – one of the drivers behind the town’s Community Local Plan group and successful Walkers Are Welcome bid – claimed there is ‘£80,000 in the council’s reserves’.

She said: “Nothing ever gets decided and things get put off until the next meeting. Are there any plans for the money – is it ring-fenced for something?”

Coun Andrew Wright replied that the money in reserves had been ‘a slow accumulation’.

He said: “Although we are in favour of spending it, we need to be prudent. With the Lincolnshire County Council budget cuts we may have to take on responsibility for the toilets and cutting the grass, and we don’t know how much that will cost.”

However, mum Vikki Bamforth was not happy with the reply. She asked: “As a local mum, what are your plans? I’ve lived here since I was four. I used the play area when I was a little girl and it’s really gone downhill.

“I’m 30 now and when people visit it’s embarrassing that we have to travel to find a decent play area.”

Coun Julia Pears assured the meeting the play park was regularly checked by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) and any repairs that were required were done.

Mrs Lowe said: “A lot of small towns have a really good play area. The outside gym that the council had funding for would have been really good. You had the money, what happened?”

Coun Wright said: “We needed to contribute funds to it and when the decision time came we got outvoted.”

When the Standard contacted new Mayor Coun Mark Gale this week he promised to see what can be done. He said: “The figure in reserves is not as much as £80,000 but unfortunately banks in Spilsby only open on Thursdays and Fridays so I cannot say at this time exactly how much. However, there is an amount of cash that could be used to make some improvements.”

Coun Gale, who took over from Coun Gill Rymer, said he had retired from a career in the army and was ‘used to getting things done’.

He said: “We are organising a meeting with local mums to see what they would like. I’m pleased to see the community wanting to get involved. It’s what the town needs.”