MORE than £8,000 has been spent by the borough council on a closed water feature in Basingstoke that has not been in use for more than three years, the Gazette can reveal.

The fountains near Eastrop Park were closed in 2020 when the pandemic hit, because of restrictions.

Despite the fountains having never reopened since Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council has spent £8,110 on their maintenance.

Read more: Council working to re-open fountains near Eastrop Park

In response to a Freedom of Information request to the borough council sent by the Gazette, it revealed that last year it spent £8,110 on the fountains, including installation of a sign asking people to keep out of the water installed last year. 

It said the fountains were initially switched off because of Covid-19 restrictions and remained shut in 2021 because of “damage to the plant room caused by condensation while switched off”.

In 2021, while preparing the fountains for reopening, the council said it found high levels of condensation in the plant room which powers the fountains which had led to a number of parts corroding.

See also: Town centre fountains near Eastrop remain closed

Specialist parts were ordered, but the council said these were “subject to long lead times”.

In February 2022 the fountains were inspected again, and some preliminary work was done to prepare them to be switched back on.

This cost the council £6,620 plus £1,432 paid to a supplier for returning parts ordered in 2021.

However, the council said this work revealed that further, significant damage had been caused to the plant room because of the length of time the fountains had been switched off.

Despite the fountains not being switched on for yet another year in 2022, the council spent £58 in July last year on signage asking people to ‘keep out of the water’.

The Gazette has asked the borough council if the fountains are now fixed and when they will re-open.