Have your say on £200,000 town ‘spend’

PANEL'S CHOICE: A new water taxi mooring was the panel's first choice. What do you think? SG310812-115TW
PANEL'S CHOICE: A new water taxi mooring was the panel's first choice. What do you think? SG310812-115TW
Have your say

Spalding Town Forum chairman George Aley wants town residents to decide how a £200,000-plus pot of cash is spent.

The £207,935 is left from Section 106 money given by Springfields Outlet developers Thornfields to offset any negative impact of the shopping development on the town centre.

A panel of councillors, officers and Springfields Outlet representatives “scored” six projects and put a report to the district council’s Cabinet on Tuesday.

But the report – part of it branded a muddle by portfolio holder Roger Gambba-Jones – will go to Spalding Town Forum so Spalding councillors can back the projects that best serve the town.

Bottom of the list is Spalding and District Area Chamber of Commerce’s £240,000 bid to fund a town centre manger for four years, while a £50,000 TV marketing campaign that would promote Springfields Outlet alongside the town centre is third.

Coun Gambba-Jones was unhappy with the panel’s muddled assessment of a bandstand for Ayscoughfee Gardens because the forum looked at two types, one “half the cost of the other”, while the report presented a hybrid, £67,000 project and was “confusing”.

He was also upset that “somewhere, buried in the Section 106 that we signed up to so many years ago, Springfields very cleverly incorporated a requirement that we promote them as well”.

Coun Gambba-Jones said: “I remain very, very disappointed that a retail outlet with a two million a year plus footfall decides that they need to be party to a promotion for Spalding from this money that they gave us.”

Forum chairman George Aley will call a special meeting to look at the projects, but in the meantime he wants Spalding people to tell him what they think so councillors can support the people’s choice.

Projects scored are:

n New water taxi mooring at Chain Bridge Forge, £13,000, suggested by Friends of Chain Bridge Forge, 136 points

n New bandstand at Ayscoughfee Gardens, £67,100, suggested by Spalding Town Forum, 132 points

n Joint marketing campaign, suggested by Springfields, 128 points

n Community studio, £29,130, suggested by Tulip Radio, 113 points

n Refurbished aviary at Ayscoughfee, £25,000, suggested by Ayscoughfee Hall and Trust, 102 points

n Town centre manager, 79 points

Spalding residents can write to Coun Aley at 17 Percheron Drive, Spalding, Lincs PE11 3GH, or email him at galey@sholland.gov.uk