Wednesday, January 27, 2010
A referendum of Brigg households could be carried out through the newsletter Brigg Matters by our Town Council.
The idea is to gauge public opinion over improving the look of the County Bridge.
However, before that can happen the cost to Brigg will have to be worked out, after discussions with North Lincolnshire Council.
The matter will then be reconsidered at February's monthly meeting of Brigg Town Council before the very unusual referendum could take place.
A scheme of improvements to the bridge, including the removal of the ugly fenced-off walkway and replacement of the metal railings with stone balustrades, was drawn up some time ago.
However, an application for Heritage Lottery funding has been turned down, and with North Lincolnshire Council, as the highway authority, not planning to press ahead out of its own budget, Brigg Town Council is being asked to consider taking charge of the scheme (total cost £250,000 to £300,000).
Currently the Town Council's complete spend for a financial year is about £100,000, meaning there would need to be an extra charge levied on Brigg households, as happened in the 1990s to meet the cost of the Angel Suite community venue.
Coun Tom Glossop told January's Town Council meeting, held on Monday, that finance and grants might be possible from other sources. He also stressed it was possible for a Town Council to borrow money over 10 years, spreading the cost to charge-payers. At a very rough estimate he thought the extra cost to Brigg households could be 25p per week if the council sought £100,000. First, however, they would "need to get North Lincolnshire Council on-board."
Noting the efforts made over many years to press for improvements to the County Bridge, Deputy Town Mayor Coun Ben Nobbs said it would be "an absolute disaster to see all that hard work come to nothing."
Coun Glossop suggested businesses in the area might be interested in paying a few hundred pounds to, in effect, part-sponsor the bridge, such as an area of the stonework.
Coun Edward Arnott said the council needed to discover the cost of the scheme first and successfully suggested further consideration of the issue at the February meeting.
If you want to make your views public at this stage, you can post a comment here. Brigg Blog is read by town councillors so they will be able to note what you think ahead of D-Day next month.