Road closure charges called into question

A COMMUNITY Councillor has questioned discrepancies in charges over road closures in Newton Stewart after receiving a bill for several hundred pounds.

Victoria Street in the town was closed for around four hours on Sunday 2 December to allow for the switching on of the town’s Christmas lights, accompanied by various events to celebrate the occasion.

But on Monday at a meeting of Cree Valley Community Council, acting chair Bob Boan told members that their bill had arrived asking for around £399 - which was more than double the charge placed on The Rotary Club who closed the same area on Sunday, 5 August for longer to allow for the Wheelie Good Bike Show.

Mr Boan said was shocked at the price difference when he had been shown the invoice to the Rotary for just £135, and said he was looking for an explanation.

But when the Gazette contacted the council, it turned out the fee was actually higher than Mr Boan quoted at £448.05 and that the community council had been referring to an old invoice for their road closure.

A council spokesperson said The Rotary Club were given a reduced rate as they were raising money for various charities, whereas the Christmas event was simply a community entertainment event.

A spokesperson said: “The cost was quoted before we proceeded with the closure, and the fees are statutory charges which are agreed at committee.”