The country is in a period of higher inflation and market volatility, as well as experiencing increases in project costs and challenges to deliverability, which is causing many individuals and business to have to pause and reflect on key priorities.
In these circumstances, Seaford Town Council met on 13th October and considered a proposal that, instead of demolishing and rebuilding the Martello Toilets facility, the Council looks to refurbish the current building. This would still include completely new toilet facilities (including a changing places facility), a refreshment concession and sheltered seating – delivering the priorities that have already been identified for the project.
The main driver behind this change in approach is financial. The Town Council is aware that many of its residents are now and will be finding themselves under greater financial strain over the coming months. The Town Council is under a duty to consider its financial demand on the taxpayers at all times, let alone when facing such a financially challenging time. To refurbish the existing building (maintaining the building structure and drainage systems), would save in the region of £300,000 when compared to the cost of a new build. The Town Council already has the money set aside to meet the costs of a new build but by reducing the cost of this project, the Town Council is able to reassign those funds elsewhere and also work to minimise its level of council tax due from taxpayers from April 2023.
It is the case that, following on from the impacts of the war in Ukraine, and other factors, the costs for the new build project have increased very significantly in circumstances that have been entirely outside of the Town Council’s control. In these changed circumstances, the Town Council has a duty to consider alternatives at this stage.
Full Council unanimously agreed the proposals and will now be following the carefully devised project plan for renovating the Martello Toilets facility. Full Council will be asked to approve a final design as soon as possible, shortly after which public consultation will start on the approved design.
The Town Council appreciates that this project has been deliberated a number of times, each with the intention of ensuring that it is providing the best service and facility for the residents of, and visitors to, Seaford. This decision now ensures that the Town Council is delivering the facility needed, whilst ensuring this does not further increase the financial strain on Seaford residents.
The Town Council looks forward to the public consultation period and welcoming feedback from members of the public. To sign up to receive copies of Town Council updates and news by email, please email email@example.com