Building costs of gypsy and traveller site increase because of pandemic
More money is needed to finish building the gypsy and traveller permanent site in Machynlleth, it has been revealed.
Powys County Council also needs to protect itself in case it needs to cover a possible shortfall of £750,000, in the project funding.
This is in case a grant funding bid to the Welsh Government fails, or the council receives less money than expected.
Work on the project to turn the unofficial camp site on the outskirts of Machynlleth into a permanent one, has started.
But, a shortfall of £41,000 in funding was been found in the tendering process, due to safety measures that are now needed on building sites due to coronavirus.
The project will now cost £1.326 million rather than the £1.285 million that had been budgeted for, when the go-ahead for the scheme was given earlier this year.
Portfolio holder for housing, Councillor James Evans said: “This is an ongoing project that’s been discussed for a number of years.
“The tender was £41,000 over what we budgeted for, this is just a realignment of finance to make sure there’s enough money in the pot to pay for this work to be done.
“The sooner we can get this project over and done with the better.”
Council Leader Rosemarie Harris added: “I used to have this portfolio and I can remember the family were living in difficult circumstances, the quicker we can do this the better.”
The financial changes were approved unanimously by the Independent/Conservative cabinet.
The report also shows that £456,000 needs to be moved between council accounts, which is called virement, to fund the project.
This money will come from the Homefinder Receipts Reserve, amounts over £500,000 need to be approved at a full council meeting.
In June, the council revealed that a three way deal worth over £10,000 between itself, Machynlleth Golf Club and Natural Resources Wales (NRW) was needed to bring the scheme to fruition.
Machynlleth Golf Club sold land on a 50 year lease to the council, while NRW sold it 6.4 acres of land south of the A489 road to become common land, and replace what the golf club lost.
Earlier this month Welshpool based, SWG Group, started work on the site.
It is estimated that work will be finished in January, and five households will be accommodated appropriately, be able to access services and pay rent.
Local authorities in Wales have a legal responsibilities and duties to provide suitable accommodation for gypsy and traveller families.
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