Council to borrow £640k to pay for Durrington cemetery extension

Worthing Borough Council has agreed to borrow £640,000 to pay for an extension to Durrington Cemetery.

Friday, 20th July 2018, 4:22 pm
Updated Friday, 20th July 2018, 4:23 pm

The need to expand the cemetery has been on the council’s radar since 2013, when an initial bid for capital was approved.

It has been estimated that the Findon Road site has between six to nine months left before it is full.

The original plan was to complete the expansion in phases over a number of years, with the first phase costing £300,000 and the second costing £200,000.

The money for the first phase was included in the 2015/16 Capital Investment Programme.

At a meeting of the council on Tuesday (July 17) members were told that the plan now was to complete the work in one go.

The project will cost £800,000 to complete, plus £27,000 for landscaping and planting and an estimated £75,500 for consultant and engineer fees.

With £262,180 still in the pot, that leaves a shortall of £640,320.

The shortfall cannot be funded from resources currently in the Capital Investment Programme and the council accepted a recommendation from the joint strategic committee to borrow the money.

The Local Government Act 2003 allows local authorities to borrow for any purpose relevant to its functions or for ‘the prudent management of its financial affairs’.

A report put before the meeting said the cost of the borrowing was expected to be £32,000 per year, based on a 50-year life and an interest rate of 3 per cent.

The report acknowledged that, while the sum could be accommodated within the treasury management budget for 2018/19, it would add to the cost pressures from 2019/20 onwards.

In May, an application to use a field between the current cemetery and the A27 as a burial area was permitted by the planning committee.

Cllr Bob Smytherman (Lib Dem, Tarring) said the extension was ‘a long time coming’, while Cllr Edward Crouch (Con, Marine) added: “While we have the scope to extend the cemetery I think it’s right and proper that we do so. This will provide extra capacity for a number of years.”

Members were assured that any future work on the A27 would have no impact on the cemetery.

Karen Dunn , Local Democracy Reporting Service