Monday, 25 June 2018

Council wants to spend £1,790 providing pump

A MUNICIPAL bicycle pump could be installed in Henley town centre.

A MUNICIPAL bicycle pump could be installed in Henley town centre.

The facility, which would be free for cyclists to use, would cost £1,790, not including installation.

Councillor Will Hamilton suggested the idea at a meeting of the town council’s town and community committee.

He said: “We do have a lot of cyclists that come into town on a Sunday.”

But Councillor Stefan Gawrysiak said free bicycle pumps would be “a monumental waste of public money”.

Speaking from the public gallery, he said: “I can’t believe we are even considering this.

“To put cycle pumps in four or more locations — let’s call it six — at £1,700 per bicycle pump, plus installation cost, is £15,000. That could be spent on new cycle routes around the town and signs showing the cycle routes.

“I would urge you to consider this fully and, hopefully, reject it.”

Cllr Hamilton replied that he was only proposing having one pump on a trial basis. He said: “I am sorry to deflate Councillor Gawrysiak’s tyre but the idea wasn’t putting five around the town. Why not have a trial of one outside Starbucks by the cycle rack? That would be my proposal. We can be pumped up about it.”

Councillor Kellie Hinton said: “I fully support this. We get a lot of cyclists in town but we have to be careful where we put it. I don’t think outside Starbucks is the best place. Perhaps a bit further up, where there is a bit more space.

Councillor Ian Reissmann said: “I ran this past quite a lot of my colleagues at work because they cycle to work.

“They did think six, seven or eight pumps was a bit over the top but one might be of benefit. They were surprised at how much it cost. I wonder if there were other options that would lower the cost?”

The committee recommended unanimously that the idea is approved by the full council.

Meanwhile, the committee has gone cold over plans to redesign six entrance signs to the town. The old council had previously agreed to pay £500 for new designs to include Bled, Henley’s Slovenian twin town, and its crest.

Cllr Hamilton said: “We approved the wording and the font size and that Bled go on it. It has been kicking around for a long time and has been back and forth.”

Cllr Reissmann said: “No decision has been made to go ahead and spend the money on this. The money that has been proposed is £10,000. I don’t think it is worth spending £10,000 on one extra twinning sign.

“At this point there are many more useful things to spend our money on. On the next agenda we should review whether or not we want to go ahead with this project.”

Town and county councillor David Nimmo Smith said: “I find it quite refreshing we are getting more sensible on how we spend our money.

“This was pushed forward by certain people who are no longer around.”

Mayor Lorraine Hillier suggested: “Some councils have a little sign at the bottom saying ‘also twinned with...’ A little plaque saying ‘also twinned with Bled’ — job done.”

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