Crawley Borough Council (CBC) says the cost of a £550,000 shopping parade revamp which townsfolk have branded a waste of public money is comparable with previous neighbourhood parade improvements.
Residents have taken to social media to complain that the freshly renovated Broadfield Barton ‘looks the same’ and demanded ‘proof of spend’, one adding: “Where the hell has that money been spent?”
But a council spokesman today (Wednesday May 25) said the cost of the scheme in Broadfield - the last of the town’s neighbourhoods to get a parade revamp - was ‘in line’ with previous parade works.
The other projects did not include a new canopy and cost about £300,000 in Furnace Green in 2011, £400,000 in Tilgate Parade in 2012, and £321,000 in Gales Place, Three Bridges.
The council yesterday released a ‘cost breakdown’ which stated the Broadfield scheme was predicted to cost £546,690 after readers raised concerns before the renovation finished last week.
The Broadfield works started last September and included repaving, a new canopy, lighting, and CCTV improvements. The scheme also included a community hub in Broadfield Library which was completed in 2013.
A council spokesman said its main parade works, including fees, cost £521,765 and a community hub £24,925. The project’s budget was made up of £419,000 from the authority, £68,000 the Safer Crawley Partnership and £65,000 external stakeholders.
The council scrapped plans to replace columns supporting the former canopy after works revealed they were built as downpipes for the area’s sewage system. A council spokesman said replacing the columns, which are now due to be repainted within a month, would make the project overbudget.
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