Council split on £50,000 lifeline for Burnham Tourist Centre
councillors have this week voted in favour of spending £50,000
on keeping Burnham-On-Sea's cash-strapped Tourist Information
Centre open over the summer - but several have
expressed their 'deep concern' and proposed a smaller funding
first reported last
week by Burnham-On-Sea.com, proposals for the 'lifeline funding'
were unveiled by Cllr Neville Jones during a public meeting where
the future of the cash-strapped seafront centre was considered.
the plan approved at Monday's Town Council meeting - pictured
above - the council will dig into its financial reserves to spend
£50,000 on keeping the Tourist Information Centre (TIC)
on Burnham seafront open between April 1st and November, while
a newly-formed working party seeks long-term funding.
is a mere lifeline to ensure the doors of the TIC stay open while
the working party seeks a longer solution," Cllr Jones told
Monday's meeting. "We are very proud of our TIC, it is very
dear to our town, and this money is urgently needed or the centre
will close on March 31st."
Chris Williams, however, put forward a separate motion and called
on town councillors to only "provide partial financial support
to the tune of £30,000".
said Sedgemoor should be asked to provide a further £15,000
and local tourist organisations £5,000.
Williams explained: "We will be running at great risk if
other bodies are not putting money in too. I just hope we're not
pouring money down the drain."
proposal would give the working party adequate time to develop
a permanent plan to maintain the TIC and would allow this council
to retain a somewhat larger proportion of our contingency funds
should Sedgemoor impose other 'budget contributions', such as
they have mentioned in respect to other services."
Ken Smout agreed that spending £50,000 is a "a whole
lot of money" and he warned: "There are no guarantees
that this money will secure the long-term future of the centre.
The working party will still have to find the money for the centre
to stay open beyond next autumn."
Joe Leach said he too was unsure whether £50,000 should
be allocated. "For the first time ever, I'm stuck on which
way to make my decision," he said at Monday's meeting.
agree with Cllr Jones that the TIC should stay open but I also
agree with Cllr Williams to some extent. We should be getting
more time from SDC to consider all this and I feel we're being
pushed into making a decision," said Cllr Leach.
But Cllr Jones described Cllr Williams' proposal as "a wrecking
motion" and said that if such a plan were adopted, it would
require "councillors to knock on the doors of many local
businesses, asking for money."
vote of councillors took pace and Cllr Jones' proposal won the
majority backing with several voitng against.