Alternative funding sources for Worthing rotunda improvements will be needed

Funding for the refurbishment of a beach shelter must come from another pot of money, say councillors.

Thursday, 9th September 2021, 3:01 pm
Worthing seafront shelter boarded up amid anti-social behaviour

The rotunda, which stands on the seafront at the end of Windsor Road, has previously been the subject of complaints from residents who claim it is used for anti-social behaviour, rough sleeping and drug taking.

The shelter was also boarded up in July this year.

Plans to spend £40,000 on refurbishment of the structure were discussed at a meeting of Adur and Worthing Councils’ joint strategic committee last night (September 7).

The funding would have come from an underspend on the Worthing parades improvements which used up £60,000 of a total budget of £100,000.

But councillors passed an amendment which means the funding will have to come from another source.

Kevin Jenkins (Con, Gaisford) said that the money for parades improvement should be spent on its intended purpose.

He explained: “I don’t disagree, obviously, that it [the rotunda] needs to be improved and we need to have a solution but I am disappointed to see where we are taking that money from.

“We made a commitment this time last year to improve our neighbourhood parades and drew down two years worth of money to do that – with the first phase being the four parades that we’ve taken forward at Broadwater, Findon, Goring and out to the Strand.

“There was always going to be a second phase and I think to see this money being taken now, when we don’t know what the rotunda actually in its redevelopment looks like – there are no plans that are available, there’s no costings available.

“I’d much rather see this money being spent to take the next phase of the neighbourhood parades forward, recognising where we are (coming out of the pandemic) and the need to support the retailers in those areas to make sure that people are able to shop locally.”

Worthing Borough Council leader Dan Humphrey’s (Con, Offington) sought reassurance from officers that both parades improvement and Rotunda works could be achieved.

Officers said that this could happen but also hinted at a new future use for the rotunda, saying: “We know that there are some elements that we need to undertake in relation to its repair and maintenance and actually making it fit for purpose for a subsequent use.

“This is to do with electricity supply, water supply, and making sure that some of the fixtures and fittings are safe and sound.”

Officers said this could be done in a ‘phased manner’ which could see both the rotunda marketed out and parades improvements completed at the same time.

Councillors approved Mr Jenkins’ amendment to look for Rotunda funding elsewhere.