London Road cash not diverted to seafront repair bill

The council has denied diverting money from London Road to fix a hole on the seafront.

Brighton and Hove City Council has denied diverting money from London Road to fix a hole on the seafront.

The London Road Local Action Team (LAT) was told last year that it would have around £750,000 earmarked for transport projects to improve the area and subsequently carried out a consultation to find out what local residents would like the money spent on.

Since that consultation, however, the LAT has discovered its short-term funding has been reduced to just £40,000.

The LAT consultation report said: “When we carried out our consultation, we were expecting to have funding of around £750,000 for transport related improvements to complement a range of other projects in the area.

“Unfortunately, since then our short-term funding has been reduced to around £40,000 as a result of money being diverted for emergency repairs to the seafront

arches.”

Work is ongoing to repair the seafront stretch after a hole appeared on Kings Road near the Fortune of War bar in April.

A spokesman for the council, however, denied it was the case that funds were being diverted from elsewhere to foot the repair bill. They said: “When the council

carried out its initial consultation in 2013, there was an expectation of potential funding in the region of £700,000 being available over a three-year period for transport related improvements for the London Road.

“After reviewing all transport requirements, the 2014-15 budget for the London Road area has been substantially reduced to ensure project commitments can be met

across the city.

“However, London Road continues to be a focus and the council has identified another possible funding option, the Local Enterprise Partnership’s Local Growth Fund allocation.

“This could be used to help fund future changes in the area and could also be connected to the continued regeneration of the city’s New England Quarter.

“The council has put together a set of options which have been sent to members of the London Road Local Action Team, (LAT), in order to find the best way forward.

“No money has been diverted from the London Road project, or any other project in the city, towards the costs of repairs following the collapse of the seafront arches at the Fortune of War.”

Philip Wells, the LAT chairman, said: “London Road is going from strength to strength and there’s a genuine political will to keep the momentum going.

“As with a lot of things, we have to keep pushing. The council appreciate there’s work to be done but there just isn’t the money.

“It would be nice to have £750,000 but I realise money is tight and London Road is doing very well as it stands so I can’t complain.”