Where has the money come from for the new road?

PUBLISHED: 15:00 04 March 2020

Eileen Wragg, Liberal Democrat candidate for Exmouth Town. Picture: Eileen Wragg

Eileen Wragg, Liberal Democrat candidate for Exmouth Town. Picture: Eileen Wragg

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Guest columnist and district councillor Eileen Wragg is hoping to ascertain the truth about the funding for the new seafront road.

We know that National and Local Governments inherit the legacies left by their predecessors, and that the tangles which are left behind have to be unravelled.

However, for the past four years, I have been asking EDDC, both the previous and the present administrations, where the funding for the new seafront road, reportedly costing £3.1m, was going to come from.

I was told that the contributors would be Devon County Council (DCC) and the Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and that their contributions would be match-funded by the national Coastal Communities Fund.

DCC informed me that there would definitely be no financial help from them, similarly the LEP would not be providing any assistance.

Therefore, there would be nothing to match-fund it to.

As readers will know, the road has now been built, but the mystery of where the funding has come from remains.

At a recent meeting with the projects manager at EDDC, again I asked how the road was being paid for and was told that the actual cost of construction was £600,000, but that with other costs, the final total was £1.5m, less than half of the original stated sum.

Furthermore, I was told by the projects manager that the monies were coming from the Premier Inn development. What?!!

It was widely reported by EDDC that the money from the sale of the Elizabeth Hall had been used to pay for the new Mamhead Slipway.

So the question remains, how is the new road to nowhere being paid for? I asked the question, yet again, at Full Council on February 26, but no-one has unravelled the answer yet.

If councillors are unable to ascertain the truth, is it any wonder that there is mistrust among our constituents?

Hence my resorting to writing this column, which might hopefully elicit an explanation.

Oh what a tangled web it is!


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