Cash worries over West Links project

AN ARBROATH councillor has issued a wealth warning saying he has concerns about the funding for the West Links upgrade project.

Last Wednesday at a full Angus Council meeting, members approved a £500,000 investment to rejuvenate the seafront with focus being on a new children’s play area.

And despite welcoming the news that the West Links is set to receive a cash injection, Councillor Donald Morrison is also urging caution given the tough economic times the local authority could be facing.

He said: “This is a good news story for Arbroath and while supporting the need to enhance this important visitor attraction, I do so with caution due to concerns where the funding for this investment has come from.

“With the Angus Alliance administration sitting on a £35 million black hole and the £500,000 budget for the West Links not forming part of their budget, the funding has had to be taken from the council’s contingency fund.

“A fund which was set up in the case of unforeseen emergencies such as the severe winter weather we had late last year and a fund which council officials admit could have been utilised for other identified priority works.

“Also if encouraging more visitors to the West Links was the goal in this investment then it is vital public toilets in the area are also more accessible rather than only being open during a certain part of the day.”

Meanwhile fellow Arbroath councillor David Fairweather described the investment as a “welcome boost” and hopes it brings in more visitors to the town.

He added: “I’m absolutely delighted with the £500,000 for the West Links.

“The next stage will be for plans to go before neighbourhood services and hopefully things will be completed by September next year.

“It has been 20 years since any major upgrades so things are definitely looking up for Arbroath.”