£20,000 for aesthetically-pleasing ramp

By Annie DavidsonA COUNCILLOR has launched a scathing attack on a council that plans to spend more than £20,000 on a disabled access ramp to ensure a town hall looks symmetrical.

By Annie Davidson

A COUNCILLOR has launched a scathing attack on a council that plans to spend more than £20,000 on a disabled access ramp to ensure a town hall looks symmetrical.

Tendring District Council needs to replace an existing ramp at the Town Hall in Clacton as it no longer meets building regulations.

Council officers then suggested a second ramp should be provided to “restore the symmetrical appearance of the building” - at a cost of £21,698.


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Clive Baker, the Labour councillor for the Rush Green ward, said the proposal was a waste of money and branded the Conservative-run council “incompetent”.

He added: “Year after year the council keep telling us that they don't have enough money to run the council.

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“Yet now they want to spend £20,000 on another ramp to make the Town Hall look even. What a waste.

“That £20,000 could go on so many other things. I have been trying to get a children's playground on the Rush Green estate, but the council says they have no money to put into it.

“Actually £20,000 could get it off the ground lovely, but that is the sort of thing they don't look at.”

Mr Baker branded the council “absolutely incompetent at doing anything” and added: “They need to prioritise much more.”

Council leader, Terry Allen, said the Town Hall was one of the main municipal buildings for the district, but the original ramp was “like wart on the end of someone's nose which ruined the integrity of the building”.

He added the need to replace the ramp had arisen and then the consideration of a second ramp had come up.

“Everyone comes to the Town Hall, especially as the new tourist information centre is there now,” said Mr Allen.

“The ramp is going to be there for the next 100 years and we are the custodians of the assets of the council and need to ask how can we improve the appearance of the building.

“When we got the drawings back the one with two ramps was the best and they look as if they should be there.”

A final decision on whether to provide the second ramp will be taken at a meeting of the council's scrutiny sub-committee on September 23.

annie.davidson@eadt.co.uk

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