Yobs force council to bulldoze Rotherham landmark

ROTHERHAM is set to lose one of its best-known town centre landmarks amid plans to bulldoze the fountain outside Boots.

Council bosses have lost patience with people throwing litter and even swimming in the red-brick structure outside Boots in Effingham Square.

They now want to spend £50,000 on knocking it down and block paving the area. A report to the borough council’s Cabinet member for town centres, Richard Russell, says that the fountain was leaking and badly needed repairing.

Yorkshire Water have issued the council with a notice under Section 75 of the Water Industry Act to repair a leak in the water supply,” the report says.

“The fountain attracts litter and some low level anti-social behaviour—for example, some members of the public have taken to swimming in it during hot weather.

“It is proposed to remove the fountain and pave the area it previously covered.”

The area currently covered by the fountain would be used for seating instead, councillors were told. The report continues: “This water feature is in need of significant repair and has a leak in the water supply pipeline.

“In addition to the leak in the supply, the water pump needs replacing and the wet well is leaking and requires repair.

“The planting beds are of poor quality having been compacted and damaged by people sitting and walking on them.

“The fountain has been the subject of a previous report, when the recommendation to drain the fountain and implement a landscaping scheme was approved.

“Subsequently, the scheme was discussed at a town centre strategy meeting and it was considered that additional funding may be identified which would allow a more comprehensive redevelopment of the immediate area.

“The scheme was held in abeyance whilst the potential of a larger redevelopment of the area was explored further.”

The council had planned to use part of a Local Area Agreement reward grant to give the fountain a suitable spruce-up but this funding has now been axed, leaving the council with a fraction of the money for a replacement scheme.

The footprint of the fountain structure would be paved in a manner to blend in with the existing surrounding paving and the potential of new seating would be considered if costs could be contained within the sum available,” the report added.

“This scheme would remove the risk of enforcement action by Yorkshire Water, remove the rather tired planting and provide additional quality paving which may be used for town centre events and stalls.

“It would also reduce the ongoing maintenance liability of the area to a minimum. “The issue of maintenance is considered to be of particular relevance when the council is facing significant and sustained pressures on its finances.”