Two Major Schemes Are Set To Be Closed Temporarily Following Covid-19 Effects
The Kent council decides to put a halt for some time on several multi-million-pound projects just following the gap of 4.5 million pounds in finances due to the pandemic. Schemes include redesigning the Ashford’s old Mecca Bingo site and building of 500 space multi-story car park that is supposed to be halted.
According to the administrators, it will enable them to take stocks and analyze these projects, which may offer several advantages in promoting economic recovery. Delay in 2020/21 budget of Ashford Borough Council has been suppressed for major areas like commercial property, enforcement and parking, formulating application fee income, and garden waste.
What Do the Reports Say About The budget gap?
A report was planned before a cabinet meeting. Officers fear that it may result in losing parking income of over 1.2 million pounds this year. On the other hand, parking imposition could cause an additional 222,000 pounds to the council.
In February 2014, the council came up with an International house. It also declared a possible loss of around 129,000 pounds. Moreover, it said that local independent traders in the Park Mall regulated by the council will face additional challenges in these situations.
Measures Taken By the Government
The government has offered 1.3 million pounds in order to deal with such situations. But according to the council, this funding is not enough to cover the huge budget gap. Therefore, the administration is providing 4.5 million pounds to fight against the crisis.
An authority leader of Ashford Borough Council named Cllr Gerry Clarkson has discussed some plans in the cabinet meeting. According to him, the council is already facing major financial issues but they will try to resolve them. They will soon come up with a strong financial approach in order to maintain the feasibility of the council and continue to provide services.
They are also designing a back-up delivery plan that will help them to fight these issues and plan further strategies that can assist to bring back the economy in the time of crisis.
Cllr Paul Bartlett is the deputy leader. According to him, holding the work on developments for some time would be a great idea. They should send a clear statement that still Ashford is open for businesses. A small break is enough, but they need to be cautious, as they don’t harm their opportunities by taking a break for a prolonged period.
However, if Ashford doesn’t open up, then it could send a wrong message to the public. By looking at both the schemes, he concludes that plans for the Aford Shard in Beaver road can also be postponed for some time.
Halt In Other Sectors
A property investment company, ABC also plans for the Mecca Bingo site along with Vicarage Lane car park. The company has observed reductions in the funding made by the government. It also faced several challenges from the past few years to balance out its budget.
In the cabinet meeting report, the company adds that it has put its fortnightly garden waste collections on halt for three months. However, according to a council member, suspending its service would be the last option.
The other council member added that the main priority is to allow the recycling of the collection during this crisis. It concluded that some services such as garden waste and street cleaning need to be suspended for very little time.
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