Westonians react as Italian Gardens revamp goes over its £200k budget
PUBLISHED: 17:00 24 October 2017
North Somerset Council is hunting for more cash after it was revealed the revamp of Weston's Italian Gardens is £200,000 over budget.
The square has undergone a 10-month refurbishment which is drawing to a close, with the hope of revitalising the town centre.
North Somerset was awarded almost £2.5million funding for the project from the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership.
But in a leaked email, Cllr David Pasley revealed the council is ‘anticipating some additional costs over the original budget for the scheme’, adding they are not expected to exceed £200,000.
A council spokesman said: “The final cost of the scheme is currently being negotiated with the contractor and will be made public when it is settled later this year.
“Should the final cost of the scheme exceed the budget available, we will seek further grant funding from the LEP. We do not envisage this scheme will require a material contribution from the council’s finances.”
In a survey of 426 Mercury readers, 62 per cent said they like the look of the redeveloped square, while 52 per cent said the project represented good value for money.
Many people took to social media to share their view.
Paula Goodwin wrote: “Total waste of money, nothing but a concrete jungle, but hey the idiots on the council seem to know what’s best for the town instead of asking the people of Weston.”
Lin Oakes commented: “What a waste of money unless you’re a skateboarder. Why don’t the council sort out the roads and the old pier, as well as the A&E that’s closed at night?”
Jordan Maynard said: “I love it. It’s a great sociable space, and perfect for markets and events in town which are not just targeted at tourists, but actual residents.”
Sharron Lawrence said: “Can’t understand why they have spent so much money wrecking what was a perfectly good area that just needed a little updating. Who designed this slab of concrete and who passed it?”
Rachel Sandy commented: “It looks great and is a proper community space in the town centre. It’s the right thing to do to invest in the town centre and continue to develop high quality, well connected public spaces. Well done North Somerset Council.”