Published: November 22, 2011
£16,700 pledged towards Highbridge town clock replacement

A total of £16,700 has been pledged in donations towards the cost of replacing Highbridge's crumbling town clock, it was revealed on Monday (November 21st).

Members of Burnham and Highbridge Town Council's Town Improvements Committee were told that building developer Raglan Homes has promised £8,000 while generous contributions from local residents include one-off donations of £5,000 and £2,000.

Town Clerk Eileen Shaw thanked the public for their support and explained that the new four-faced clock is expected to cost £14,200.

However, additional work to safely demolish and remove the current clock plus install a new concrete base and finish electric work will add an extra £6,000 to the cost.

"Therefore, while we have the funding for the clock itself, we are still around £3,500 short of the final total," she said during Monday's meeting.

Cllr Alan Miller urged councillors to place an order for the new clock, saying: "It's great to see this money pledged, but the people of Highbridge now want to see this progressed. As the money for the clock is in plce, why not proceed?"

However, Mrs Shaw warned that not all the pledges have been physically received yet, so there is a risk that not all the promised funding will appear. "If we were to order the clock now and any of those pledges did not arrive, we would have an issue," she explained.

Councillors voted 6-1 in favour of delaying the final purchase while a request for the outstanding £3,500 is made to the council's Policy and Finance Committee.

The project is underway because the current town clock - known as the 'three-faced liar' because its clock faces rarely tell the same time - is crumbling and needs to be replaced.

It has a long history, having been unveiled at Highbridge's Cornhill by the junction of Church Street and Market Street in 1897 to commemorate Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee. The original clock was replaced in 1965, a year after a lorry demolished it and the current one was re-sited in 1972 in the gardens.

The Town Council wants the new clock to be in place for next year's Queen's Jubilee.

Pictured: Cllr Pat Burge and former councillor Phoebe Harling holding a photo of the proposed new Highbridge clock

 


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