TIME could be running out for villagers at Seaton Delaval.
Plans are being drawn up to provide a new clock in the village, but concern has been expressed that its estimated £8,000-plus cost is excessive in a time of austerity and budget cuts for local authorities nationwide.
Seaton Valley Council last week discussed proposals to install a 4m-high pillar clock at the roundabout in the centre of the village to replace the current timepiece after it is demolished.
The bill for the proposed clock, made of cast aluminium and fibreglass, is estimated at about £8,250.
Council chairman Bob Watson said: “Following comments received over repairs to the village clock in New Hartley and the donation to a project to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the pit disaster, it is apparent that people would look forward to some form of central focus within Seaton Delaval.
“In due course, Mary’s Clock will be demolished, and the installation of a four faced, 4m-high pillar clock, would seem to fit the bill.
“I have liaised with the county council, and they are supportive of the clock, which would be plugged in after the Christmas tree is removed every January.”
The clock would be budgeted for next financial year, the meeting heard.
Coun Bernard Pidcock said: “I imagine this will be in situ for at least 100 years. Therefore it has to be of a construction that will last at least 100 years.
“We need to be sure that this is a lasting memorial to this council.”
Coun Liz Vuyk said: “I would love to do it, but I am worried in these austere times if we should be thinking about it.
“If we can find some money from somewhere else, at least to reduce the cost, it would be lovely.”
Proposals to seek help to pay for the proposed clock were discussed by councillors.
The possibility of joining forces with Seaton Delaval Hall to try to boost the number of visitors to the village was also raised.
Coun Pidcock said: “A lot of people go to Seaton Delaval Hall, but not a lot of those people then go into the town centre.
“We should try to make a link with the hall and ask is there any way we can tie this clock in with the hall.”