A new community building could be on the cards after plans to replace a pavilion in Skegness were taken to the next stage – but this is only the start of the ambitions of Skegness Town Council.
Not only have councillors voted in favour of taking on responsibility for building new facilities, they want controi of assets now operated by East Lindsey District Council to generate an income and ease the burden on ratepayers.
Councillors have provisionally agreed to a 4,75 percent rise in the precept, or 7-8p a week for Band D property, after a consultation showed 84 per cent of residents who participated are in favour of the project principles.
In addition, after agreeing a resolution put forward by Coun Steve Kirk, they want to extend the project to include the transfer of the whole of Tower Gardens, including all the associated assets, together with the Scarbrough Avenue car park.
Town clerk Steve Larner said an initial pre-feasibility scoping exercise estimated the building construction can be delivered within a £1.5m budget, financed through borrowing funded through the precept. It would include 20 per cent office space for the council.
The intention of the 4.75 percent rise would be that it would be the same in future years and this will be confirmed at the council’s January budget meeting.
There were concerns the a response to the consultation of 156 residents in a population of 19,579 was too low to commit ratepayers to the rise, however Mr Larner assured council this was quite favourable compared with ones done in other parts of the country.
Coun Mark Dannatt said: “What we pay today is cheap tomorrow. We could have a winterwonderland in Tower Gardens, This is the way forward.”
Coun Elainer Freeman told councillors: “We have to move forward if the town is to survive.
“You represent the residents in your ward. If you don’t have the vision of the Victorians then the town will die.”
Mayor of Skegness Coun Danny Brookes said it was in favour of the project as a whole. He said: “I wish the council had done something 30 years ago so we wouldn’t have to.
“I’m in favour of paying a bit more now so our children won’t have to.”
Further consultation during the feasibility stage will start soon.
Residents can have their say by visiting the website www.skegness.gov.uk or calling the council on 01754766113.