Budget includes £9m spend on fire station

MILLIONS of pounds of taxpayers’ money has been allocated towards the relocation of Leamington fire station.

The £9 million investment programme was agreed by Warwickshire County Council as part of its budget setting for the forthcoming financial year at Shire Hall in Warwick on Tuesday.

The authority will now proceed with the procurement process and press forward with the sale of the current fire station site in Dale Street.

Cllr Angela Warner (Con, Warwick South) said: “The Warwick station closed amid huge controversy last year while the one in Dale Street, Leamington, has been on the market for more than a year. At one stage it was thought Waitrose would acquire the site with the funds raised being put towards a more modern building in a strategically better location to further improve response times.

“We have made a firm commitment to relocate the fire station and formally set aside £3 million a year for the next three years in addition to providing a new training centre.

“The Leamington site needs a lot of money spent on it. We need a better location for the whole district.”

At the same meeting, county council tax for 2013 to 2014 was frozen at the rate for 2012 to 2013.

The rate for tax band D has been reset at £1,155,25.

The council has allocated an additional £7.6 million for roads over the next three years and earmarked £2.5 million for an upgrade of Junction 12 of the M40.

A £3.5 million set of investments will be made for Going for Growth projects, which aim to stimulate economic growth.

This will be supplemented by a further £200,000.

An additional £2.7 million of revenue will be spent on children’s services, £2.3 million on adult social care, a similar amount on early intervention services and £500,000 on services for young people.
 Plans to build a railway station in Kenilworth will also receive £2 million investment.

Liberal Democrats have said the budget was dominated by two “major U-turns” by the Conservative-led administration - the removal of charges for using computers in libraries and the restoration of passenger transport assistants on school buses (see page 2).

Labour councillors made a proposal for £500,000 to be put aside to enable the council to switch street lights back on across Warwickshire.

To pay for this, they proposed a 20 per cent cut for members’ allowances and a reduction in the number of cabinet