Second part of Beehive loan to be drawn

Honiton Town Council resolve to draw down �475,000 loan for the Beehive Community Centre.

The second part of an almost �1million loan for the new Beehive Community Centre in Honiton is to be drawn down.

Honiton Town Council last week resolved to draw down the �475,000 from the Public Work Loans Board for the project.

Councillor Nick Cornwell said: “We need to draw this down because of going out to tender. If we don’t have the money, it would be illegal to go ahead with the contracts.”

He admitted that, instead of borrowing the money over 50 years, the council would take out the money for a period of 30 years.

Councillor Peter Halse described the interest rate as “extremely attractive”.

At the current rate of 3.53 per cent interest, the annual repayment will be �25,796.98.

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Councillor Mike Allen asked whether the precept would be affected and was reassured by deputy mayor Councillor Peter Halse and former mayor Councillor Vernon Whitlock that this was not the case.

A recorded vote was held – the motion was passed by a majority of 14 to two.

Those who voted against were Mike Allen and Roy Coombs.

During the meeting, the council resolved to disband the current Beehive Project Group but to continue the steering group, which will not have responsibility for agreeing rental terms.

It also agreed the town clerk, Lyn Hargood, and an appointed councillor will oversee the building phase of the centre once a contract is awarded and that a Beehive Development Group be established to recommend an appropriate form of governance.

Fund-raising towards the project is continuing. Initiatives, so far, have included a draw, rock night and treasure hunt.