Ottery town council to face 15k bill after library project overspend

PUBLISHED: 06:55 13 November 2017 | UPDATED: 09:27 13 November 2017

The Old NatWest building is the new home of Ottery Library

The Old NatWest building is the new home of Ottery Library

Archant

Ottery Town Council has been hit with an extra £15,000 bill after it was revealed that works to build the town’s new library have gone ‘considerably’ over budget.

Ottery Town Council has been hit with an extra £15,000 bill after it was revealed that works to build the town’s new library have gone ‘considerably’ over budget.

Costs to transform the former NatWest building into the new facility have spiralled from £71,929 to an estimated £87,805 – an increase of nearly 22 per cent.

The majority of the funding is being paid for by Libraries Unlimited, with contributions from town and county councils.

But on Monday, Ottery town clerk Christine McIntyre warned councillors that the town must find the extra cash needed to complete the project.

She said: “From March 2017 onwards I have provided councillors with regular schedules of dates and payments made by this council in respect of both contracts, and I have clearly indicated my concern as to the ever-increasing costs.”

Last year, town councillors agreed to contribute a maximum of £15,000 towards the project but will now have to double the contribution to cover the overspend.

Mrs McIntyre said some of the increases had been ‘necessary expenditure’ such as legal costs, building rate application fees, carpeting, cabling and CCTV.

But on top of this it was also revealed that a further £1,150 had been overspent on a separate contract for the installation of the toilets in the library – an overspend of 13.4 per cent.

The toilets were initially estimated to cost £13,850 but have risen to £15,712.

But at a property meeting yesterday (Thursday), councillors admitted there were ‘lessons to be learnt’.

Mayor Glyn Dobson said he did not dispute the figures but did question their interpretation.

But Councillor Ian Holmes added: “There have been mistakes; we have learnt a lesson and we are doing our best to get a project there for the public.

“I think we should now say ‘let’s accept these figures and get on with council work’.”

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