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Tadley taxpayers to fund new youth centre project
1:00pm Saturday 7th September 2013 in News
TAXPAYERS in Tadley could be paying for a new youth centre over the next 20 years.
Tadley Town Council agreed to contribute £50,000 from council coffers and to take out a loan from the Public Works Loan Board to help finance the £500,000 project.
The town council previously agreed to work with Tadley and District Community Association to provide the centre on borough council-owned land next to the Community Centre in Newchurch Road.
At a meeting on Monday, Tadley Town Council voted unanimously to use £50,000 from the council reserves for the project, after hearing from Councillor Jo Slimin that the project was a “golden opportunity” to deliver a much-needed facility.
Cllr John Moss said: “We have been letting down the young people of this town.
“We hear time and time again that there is nothing for them to do. This is the thing that has been missing in Tadley for years.”
The £50,000 will come out of the £110,511 in council general reserves, and not from the £154,961 in reserves which have been earmarked for expenditure on the cemetery, vehicles, tools, CCTV, the play area, skatepark and other projects.
The council also approved the recommendation that they take out a loan from the Public Works Loan Board to help finance the project.
The amount has not yet been agreed, but Cllr Slimin said it would be likely to mean that residents would be paying less than £2 a year over 20 years.
Cllr Christine Keeling, who voted against the proposal, said she had “huge reservations” about how they would deliver the project, which will require a large consultation with local residents.
Cllr Claire Ballard also voted against the scheme, saying: “This is a big commitment that we are signing the taxpayers up to for 15 to 20 years.”
A consultation will now begin among all Tadley residents, and Cllr Slimin will head a team of councillors looking at the best way of gathering public opinion before any plans move forward.
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