Cheltenham's 'crown jewels' to be protected, despite austerity
FINANCE bosses are planning to spend up to £1 million making sure Cheltenham's assets do not fall into disrepair.
There had been concern about how buildings like the Town Hall and Pittville Pump Room were going to be maintained.
It came after the borough council looked at saving money by cutting its contributions to its maintenance reserves.
The authority hoped to save just over £700,000 in the next four years by reducing the amount it paid into the pot of cash.
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Instead the council will use money handed out by the Government for building new houses and bringing vacant homes back into use in order to fill the hole in the budget.
The authority's proposed budget for 2013/14 would see almost £900,000 put into a fund to pay for planned maintenance.
Close to £700,000 of the money would come from the council's revenue budget, with a further £200,000 from the fund, called the New Homes Bonus.
As well as this cash, the council also has £190,000 sitting in its planned maintenance reserve.
How the money could be spent is expected to be put before the next meeting of the full council.
The authority's next budget is being discussed on February 8.
Councillor John Rawson (LD, St Peters), deputy leader of the council and cabinet member for finance, said he is committed to ensuring Cheltenham's assets do not suffer even during a time of austerity.
"There is no way I am going to let our property and assets deteriorate on my watch," he said.
"That is why I am proposing that we should devote such a substantial sum to property maintenance, even at a time of great financial stringency.
"No one should doubt that the council is committed to maintaining our buildings and other property, particularly buildings like the Town Hall and Pittville Pump Room which are part of the town's unique character."