Plans for dog exercise area in South Shields park 'pawsed' over funding problems

Plans for a ‘dog exercise area’ at a South Shields park have been put on paws after a failure to agree funding arrangements.
File picture c/o PixabayFile picture c/o Pixabay
File picture c/o Pixabay

Town hall chiefs had been asked to fetch more than £7,000 for the scheme at West Park, with all of South Tyneside’s communities asked to contribute.

But a final decision will now roll over to December at least after councillors couldn’t agree on how to spread the costs of the proposals across the borough.

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“I don’t have an issue with contributions coming from the wards because people from all the wards use West Park,” said Coun Angela Hamilton, who represents the Beacon and Bents ward.

“But where I do have an issue is with all wards being expected to pay the same amount.”

Coun Hamilton was speaking at a CAF meeting, which agreed to defer a decision on the application until its next meeting, currently scheduled for December 10.

West Park councillor Anne Hetherington conceded it had been ‘difficult to assess’ how many people from the borough’s 18 council wards use West Park.

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Every year, the council’s ruling cabinet agrees for cash budgets to be handed down to the CAFs to be spent on approved projects.

In March, this was set at a combined total of £265,330 for Riverside CAF, which must have been allocated to projects by February 2020.

According to a report for councillors, it was requested ‘all wards be asked for a contribution as people across the borough go to the park’.

Riverside CAF, which covers West Park, was asked to contribute £1,556 towards the £7,003-project – equivalent to £389 per council ward covered by the CAF.

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West Shields Cleadon and East Boldon CAF, which is meeting today, has been asked to contribute at the same rate – £1,167 for the three wards which make up the CAF.

The dog exercise area would add to a number of facilities already provided at the Victorian park, which features a bandstand, bowling greens, a multi-use games area, pavilions a play area and tennis courts.