BUDGET CUTS: Council vows to keep investing

By Michael Upton | 21/07/2010 0 comments

BUDGET CUTS: Council vows to keep investing

Council chiefs have vowed to keep key projects going despite having to make £11 million of cuts.

The withdrawal of the Local Area Agreement reward grant, which Rotherham was due to receive in return for achieving a number of improvement targets in an agreement with central government, has meant a loss of £3 million to the borough.

But Rotherham Borough Council has insisted that several major schemes will continue, including:

- the business vitality grants scheme, which has led to five new businesses opening this year and enabled a further ten to work through the application process. This has contributed to 24 new businesses in total that have opened in the town centre so far this year.

- popular town centre events such as Rotherham Rocks, which have been organised and administered in conjunction with town centre businesses to help increase the number of shoppers.

- efforts to develop the town centre as a showcase for local artists to both improve the environment and encourage more visitors.

- plans to remove the hoardings next to Imperial Buildings and create a "pocket park". This has been cited as a key priority by the retailers, and was originally to be funded by money from Yorkshire Forward.  

Karl Battersby, the council's Strategic Director of Environment and Development Services, said: “It is important that in difficult economic times, we continue to focus on our key priorities and continue to do what is right for Rotherham, not just cease activity because central Government funding has been withdrawn.

“For this reason, we have been forced to reprioritise and take some difficult choices to ensure we can continue with many of the town centre and employment initiatives which have been welcomed by local residents and retailers.”
 

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