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Town councillors discuss £244k Civic Enhancement Fund
TOWN councillors have agreed to set aside some cash from a £244k fund towards regeneration works at Bridgwater’s West Quay.
The West Quay wall crumbled into the River Parrett during heavy rain in November 2011 and has since been repaired, with more work underway to improve the area.
At a meeting of Bridgwater Town Council’s finance committee this week, members said £40k had been set aside for the West Quay project from the £244k Civic Enhancement Fund (CEF), made up from town council reserves and held in a bond with Nat West.
Town Clerk Alan Hurford told the Mercury: “The fund was built over several years by the town council through the precept - aimed principally towards capital schemes - but has not to date been called upon.
“It is administered by the town council and decisions to utilize the resource would be made by members.
“There was about £250k in the fund, which the town council has accumulated over the ten years, but this is getting eroded; in February it was £244k. We have to spend it wisely.”
So far only £14k has been needed from the £40k cash pot to support refurbishment for West Quay.
Councillors Mick Lerry and Gill Slocombe called for some money from the CEF to be set aside for transformational projects to improve Bridgwater.
Cllr Lerry said: “We don't know what the government will do with town council budgets in the future and I feel we should think ahead.”
Cllr Slocombe added: “It is a good idea to have about £50k set aside from the CEF as match funding towards enhancement projects.”
But committee chairman Cllr John Turner said: “We can't consider budgets for years to come because we don't know the result of the upcoming election yet.
“There are other funds in place for civic enhancement. There's enough to fulfil anything that comes up.”