Town council approached for piers funding

The piers.

The piers.

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Whitby Town Council has been approached by the borough council about the possibility of financial contribution towards the scheme to repair Whitby’s crumbling piers.

A letter from Jim Dillon, chief executive of the borough council, was discussed at Tuesday night’s town council meeting .

Damage to the east pier

Damage to the east pier

It welcomed the opportunity for the two authorities to meet, as well as asking if the town council would be willing to make a financial contribution towards the repair scheme.

At present, a grant of £4.8 million has been secured from the Environment Agency towards the project, leaving an estimated shortfall of £3.7 million, for the work which is expected to cost £8.5 million.

The request for potential financial contribution was met with reservations by some members of the council.

Discussing the proposal, Cllr John Freeman said: “To ask a small council like ourselves for that sort of finiancial help is actually ludicrous.

Pictures by Ceri Oakes.

Pictures by Ceri Oakes.

“We support them in their endeavours.

“But to expect a council of our size to put that sort of money into that sized pot is ridiculous.”

Cllr Ian Havelock said he found it “extraordinary that this request should come”.

Putting forward a proposal, Cllr Phil Trumper suggested that the council asks Filey Town Council if they have been approached for funding regarding the Filey flood alleviation scheme.

He said that any potential funding from Whitby Town Council towards the piers could be based off this information.

He also pointed out that he believes the town council would willingly contribute if they had such funds available.

As reported by the Gazette last month, the borough council has met with contractors to plan refurbishment of the piers, but the work will not begin until 2018 at the earliest.

Cllr Mike Cockerill, cabinet member for harbours and flood protection told the Gazette that refurbishing the piers is one of the borough council’s “key priorities.”

The town council voted to meet with the borough council, as well as to contact Filey Town Council.