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Labour expresses serious concerns over Valley Gardens scheme

warrenmorgan_1__1__1__1_.jpgAfter Green and Conservative councillors united to vote through a five-year plan for roadworks in Valley Gardens, Labour has renewed its pledge to suspend and review the scheme if elected in May.

Councillor Warren Morgan, Leader of the Labour and Co-operative Group, said:

We have very real concerns about the open-ended way this project is being funded. If cycle lanes and footpaths are needed in Valley Gardens and the Old Steine, then there ought to be a way of providing them that does not involve removing the Mazda Fountain, the Aquarium Roundabout and two lanes of traffic at a cost of over £18 million.

It is shocking that the Tories are supporting this Green scheme that will mean five more years of city centre roadworks and take millions of pounds out of the council's already depleted transport budget, needed to repair the ailing seafront. There is no money identified to maintain the huge new park that will be created. As with the i360, which they also supported, this scheme exposes the council to huge financial risks.

Labour has asked that no contracts are signed and no further money spent on the scheme until after May's local elections.

  • Seafront repair costs are estimated to be around £100m, and the council is facing cuts of over £20m a year.
  • The council will have to meet 25% of the overall costs, and the Greens only won funding from the government's Local Enterprise Partnership by claiming cross-party support, which it did not have.
  • A public petition to save the Mazda fountain has already gained over 800 signatures.

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