YOU pay to balance the books

PUBLISHED: 05:13 20 July 2006 | UPDATED: 09:37 24 May 2010

A NEW state-of-the-art library in a North Somerset village has cost nearly 75 per cent more to build than originally expected. This week, another £90,000 has been added to the budget for the creation of the new Yatton library and community centre in High

A NEW state-of-the-art library in a North Somerset village has cost nearly 75 per cent more to build than originally expected.This week, another £90,000 has been added to the budget for the creation of the new Yatton library and community centre in High Street. This is not the first time more money has been ploughed into the scheme.North Somerset Council originally said building work would cost £334,000 but it has now risen to £583,000 - an increase of almost £250,000.Other aspects of the scheme have been cut back to accommodate the rise in building costs.But critics say the scheme is turning into a repeat of The Campus at Locking Castle, a flagship community centre which cost the authority nearly £3million more than it originally expected.The Yatton scheme was originally supposed to have opened more than a year ago but building delays have forced the opening back to September this year.At a meeting of the council's executive this week, the authority approved adding £90,000 to the project's budget. The former Quaker Hall will be home to the new centre and will have an extensive library, meeting rooms, a citizens' advice centre and a kitchen.The extra £90,000 is needed to cover the cost of building a mezzanine floor and other work such as replacing the windows. The mezzanine floor had been planned from the start but officers had not included it in the project's budget.Tory leader Councillor Mike Roe said: "My concern is that we all know about The Campus and it seems lessons have not been learned."There is no explanation why at this late stage the project has fallen over budget and why there are still requests for yet more money."Speaking at the executive meeting, Councillor Deborah Yamanaka said: "I am glad to see the library will open in September, it will be much bigger than the current building. I am less pleased to have to ask to increase the budget. Unfortunately the original budget did not include the funding for a mezzanine floor and it would be a waste of space not to have it."Council leader Alan Hockridge said: "There are lessons to be learnt and they must be learnt quickly.

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