Footpath fiasco in village

PUBLISHED: 08:34 19 March 2009 | UPDATED: 21:43 31 May 2010

County councillor Tim Stone and chairman of Hinxton parish council, Jane Charter  Picture: SUBMITTED

County councillor Tim Stone and chairman of Hinxton parish council, Jane Charter Picture: SUBMITTED

A PARISH council s reserves could be completely wiped out following a bungled attempt by a county council to improve a dilapidated pavement. Hinxton Parish Council has been asked to stump up £4000 to complete a half-finished job which has more than triple

A PARISH council's reserves could be completely wiped out following a bungled attempt by a county council to improve a dilapidated pavement.

Hinxton Parish Council has been asked to stump up £4000 to complete a half-finished job which has more than tripled in price since the work was started.

Chairman of the parish council Jane Charter said: "This whole thing has been a complete fiasco - any parish council would be hard pushed to find that kind of money, but we are one of the smallest in Cambridgeshire."

At the beginning of the month work started to improve the pavement on North End Road. It was a job that was funded by Cambridgeshire County Council's (CCC's) minor highways scheme and was only going to cost the parish council £240.

However this week the workman packed up their tools with more than half of the job still to do.

County councillor Tim Stone was asked by the parish council to investigate what had happened.

"It's quite simple," said Cllr Stone, "They ran out of money. The cost of finishing the project is now some £15,000. That's after the original £7000 has been spent.

"This is quite ridiculous. I don't understand how it is possible for professionals to estimate a job at £7000 and then discover it's going to cost £22,000. You wouldn't accept that kind of caper from a bloke with a load of tarmac."

The county council has agreed to finish the work, but they have asked the parish council to pay for a large chunk of the extra cost. Charity the Wellcome Trust has offered to pay £2000 towards the work, but that still leaves a further £2000 to pay.

"We have already allocated £2000 to pay for essential repairs to the roof of the village hall, but this may now have to be put on hold," said Cllr Charter.

"We can't leave the job half done because it isn't safe for people to walk along, so we will have to pay up. It will leave us with no contingency money for the rest of the financial year."

CCC was asked to comment on the work, but had not done so before the Reporter went to print.

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