A number of schemes across Dudley postponed due to funding crisis

Thursday, 21 March 2024 19:18

By Martyn Smith, Local Democracy Reporter @

Members of the cash-strapped Conservative controlled council’s cabinet approved delays to schemes so that they can be taken out of spending plans.

Users of a Dudley borough leisure centre will have to wait for a new roof after councillors agreed to delay spending. The Crystal Leisure Centre in Stourbridge had £554,000 approved in February 2022 for the replacement of the roof. As cost pressures continue to bite, councillors agreed to defer the project until 2027/28.

Plans for a warden’s base at Wren’s Nest Nature Reserve which were launched by the council in 2021 with the acquisition of land on Wren’s Hill Road will also be delayed. After costs increased above the original budget the plan stalled and, with no more proposals on the table,  the £279,000 earmarked for the scheme will be put off until 2027/28.

Cllr Shaukat Ali, Labour’s spokesperson for finance, asked if there was a risk the projects would not be restored in later years. In response council leader, Cllr Patrick Harley, said:

“In the current climate there is always a risk but we have seen some improvement. I am hopeful we will be able to use this funding in 2027, a lot of those projects would not have come to fruition until 2027 anyway.”

There was better news for two projects which will get funding from the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) which is cash paid by builders to contribute to the neighbourhoods where large developments take place.

Plans to install a cycleway and improve a footpath in Lownes Road, Wollaston, were awarded £84,344. Improvements to Fountain Square in Stourbridge worth £120,000 also got the green light.

Schemes to miss out on CIL funding included £105,000 plans to improve Shell Corner near Blackheath and £150,000 for landscaping at Lye War Memorial.

Also to miss out were plans for the installation of a car park for football teams at Kinver Street in Wordsley costing £98,529, Dudley town centre wayfinding upgrades worth £100,000 and public realm improvements in Foster Street (Stourbridge) and Talbot Street (Brierley Hill) with costs of £122,000 and £150,000.


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