No money in the budget to repair Sudbury boat pond

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Repairs to a memorial model boat pond in Sudbury will run into thousands of pounds, with councillors hoping necessary works can help revitalise a riverside setting in the town.

However these plans have hit a snag as the town council’s budget has recommended that it is unable to afford the fund this year.

The boating pond was built in 1971 as a memorial to Roger and Margaret Green and their sons, Simon and Ian, who were on board the Tupolev-134 which crashed at Rijeka airport in the former Yugoslavia.

Members of Sudbury Town Council’s leisure and environment committee recently discussed the required repairs, deciding that the pond would be worth repairing in a bid to revitalise and encourage leisure use of the area.

The committee proposed £25,000 was set aside in the town council’s budget for the work to go ahead but the finance committee is now recommending this is an expense the council cannot afford.

Town clerk Jacqui Howeels said; “The recommendation is to remove the proposed budget for the pond as the council cannot afford it at this stage.

“They have suggested looking for alternative funding or grant monies as we do want to regenerate that area.”

The first quote the council received for the works needing to be carried out, including a new liner for the pond floor and for a new filtration system, was £47,000.

The council was going to get more quotes for the works, describing that figure as too high, but committee chairman Jack Owen said: “If we don’t [carry out the repairs] we will lose it.”

Fellow committee member John Sayers said: “We used to have a regatta each year but I’m not sure that justifies the annual maintenance expense on it.”

Members agreed with Nick Irwin when he said one of the problems was the lack of promotion of the facility.

“Now we have a town centre promotions manager perhaps we can use her to promote it. Not many other places have them.

“If we are going to put money into it we have got to promote the whole area.”

The finance committee meet again on January 3, before the budget goes before the full council on January 10.