May 14, 2013 7 Comments
When I asked how much the Warrior Square Garden Kiosk cost to be built I did not have expected an answer that would leave me shocked at its size. Six hundred and twenty-three thousand eight hundred and seventy-five pounds; which now gives me two examples of fiscal incontinence that have cost the taxpayer almost one and a half million quid. Bloody hell!
Of course, all sorts of accountancy tricks are employed to make some of this spend appear as if it comes from the Magic Money Tree. Ultimately, though, it is money taken from the pockets of British taxpayers.
What possessed the ruling administration to embark on this doomed project – doomed because the damned kiosk has been barely open in its two-year existence? £623,875 would be bad enough if spent on something that was in use, it is profligate insanity to waste it on a facility that has seen the ‘closed’ sign adorn it for the majority of its miserable existence. It is an insult that this spending is set against closures to libraries and children’s centres, threats to residential care homes, and an air show once deemed economically necessary and now viewed as expendable.
Rather than opt for a basic but serviceable design our council chose to go for a folly that never lived up to the planning. Described as the Warrior Square Gardens Pavilion the silly roof never got off the ground. This flower would be blooming ridiculous if it were not so blooming expensive.
I am so angry I could cry. I can think of no better testament to the lop-sided set of priorities the Conservative administration seem to have. Our town is in need of regeneration, and needs to adopt a more business friendly face. Building a kiosk that is not on a main thoroughfare, and sees much better competition in the High Street, just goes to show how out of touch the Tories in Southend are. That they have to waste a fortune building it puts me in mind of Oliver Cromwell’s words: You have sat too long for any good you have been doing. Depart, I say, and let us have done with you.
The next set of elections cannot come too soon.
In the meantime, the kiosk (or pavilion) is up for rent – I cannot imagine that the taxpayer is going to get much of their money back. The council may even have to induce someone to take it over.
When it was explained to me that the money came from central Government (an alternate route for wasting taxpayers’ money) this little gem was included: The project was developed by Renaissance Southend and the Council took over the delivery and also contributed to the overall landscape improvements to the square.
Landscape improvements! Do they really think that what we have today is an improvement on the tranquil Victorian gardens we had before? Good grief …..