Corby’s sports amenities, shops, council buildings, play areas and parks are to have millions of pounds spent on them as the council goes on a spending spree ahead of its abolition in 2020.
Corby Council is proposing to shell out more than £5m over the next 18 months on public facilities across the town, investing in its tired community centres, shopping precincts and street scenes.
£1m will be spent on improving the international swimming pool, £550,000 will be spent on upgrading the council offices at Deene House and £45,000 on CCTV upgrades.
More than £550,000 will also be spent on surveying and maintaining the town’s trees and £113,0000 will be spent on replacing the concrete flower planters across the town with self watering models and also putting up 120 flower baskets on lamp-posts across the town.
The cash is just under half of the £11m the council will have in the bank in reserves by next April.
Council leader Tom Beattie said having been prudent over the past few years the authority is now in a position to spend.
He said: “Having managed our finances well over the past few years we have built up our reserves and are now in a position to undertake some significant schemes.
“This is not a rushed decision and we have been talking about these improvements for some time.
“If people look around Corby these days they will see that it is a much different place to what it was ten years ago and we hope to continue with these improvements.”
The schemes have been shortlisted by senior officers and councillors are being invited to decline some of the schemes and instead promote their own.
However the councillors are being advised not to spend more than the proposed £5.2m so it can maintain a ‘healthy’ level of reserves.
Typically the authority has spent about £650,000 on it’s capital improvement programme in recent years.
A report, which will be discussed at the One Corby Council meeting next week, says: “Given the comparatively high level of reserves and the need to invest in the council’s assets the draft capital programme is more ambitious than in recent years.
“In recent years expenditure has been limited to where there are contractual or statutory obligations, essential repairs where required (ie to mitigate against health & safety risks) or where funding has been received from external sources.
“Given the projected level of reserves at 31st March 2019, officers are suggesting that members may wish to invest in council assets, to enhance those assets and achieve improvements for the general public.”
Other improvements listed include: £20,000 on refreshing street names signs; £145,000 on the stable block at East Carlton Park; £83,000 on building upgrade at Saxilby Boxing Club; £150,000 on overhauling the 3G all weather pitch at Lodge Park Sports Centre; £60,000 on a cemetery improvement feasibility study; £50k on footpath improvements; £46,000 on finishing off the play park at Lyveden Way; £20,000 on replacing the Glastonbury Road play area, £600k on shopping precinct facelifts and £43,000 on Burghley Drive pavilion repairs.
All agreed funding needs to be spent by April 2020 according to the council report.
The long-standing authority is set to be scrapped and replaced with a unitary system in May 2020.
After public consultation the authority decided not to join a submission with the county’s other seven councils in favour of two unitary councils for Northamptonshire.
The Secretary of State for Local Government James Brokenshire is still to make a public statement about the Northamptonshire unitary bid, however the eight councils are moving ahead with talks and plans.