County to pay footpath bill

SPIRALLING costs to improve a dilapidated pavement, which could have left a parish council out of pocket, will be paid for by a county council. Hinxton Parish Council was being asked to stump up �4000 to complete a half-finished job which had more than tr

SPIRALLING costs to improve a dilapidated pavement, which could have left a parish council out of pocket, will be paid for by a county council.

Hinxton Parish Council was being asked to stump up �4000 to complete a half-finished job which had more than tripled in price since the work was started, the Reporter revealed last week.

Now Cambridgeshire County Council (CCC) has agreed to pick up the bill for the work which was originally quoted at �7000 but is now costing a huge �22,000.

Head of network management at CCC Richard Preston said: "We have given an undertaken to complete the whole of this scheme. There have been misunderstandings over what the parish council contribution should be and we apologise for the lack of clarity over this.


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"Any funds the parish council would like to put towards the scheme will be gratefully received but the county council has given an undertaken to complete the scheme irrespective of any parish contribution.

"As is often the case with these jointly funded schemes there was an increase in the cost once detailed design work was carried out. This was explained to the parish council and they chose which part of the scheme was started on first."

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Hinxton Parish Council, one of the smallest parishes in Cambridgeshire, would have been left without any reserves if they had been required to contribute �4000 towards the extra cost.

Chairman of the parish council, Jane Chater, said: "We are delighted with this outcome and I will consult with the parish council to see if we are able to contribute any of the money towards the scheme.

"We are strapped for cash as it is, but this should mean that we are able to concentre on other essential projects like repairing the roof of the village hall.

"Our county councillor Tim Stone has done a brilliant job for us raising this issue at county level and we are grateful to the Reporter for drawing attention to our campaign.

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