PEMBROKE barrage has long been the subject of great debate among the town’s residents.

As far back as June 1995, the Western Telegraph reported the cost of the Pembroke Barrage project and the redevelopment of the Castle Pond had spiralled to more than £1.9 million, but the state-of-the-art equipment was not working as promised.

And now, the latest set of repairs – to the barrage gate, the hydraulic cylinder which operates the gate and replacement bearings in the hinges at the bottom of the gate – are expected to cost the council £146,000, with expenditure already having reached £93,000.

The gate has been undergoing repairs at a steel fabricators yard at Pembroke Dock since last August.

It is hoped site preparations will be completed later this week, followed by the installation of the gate next month, a Pembrokeshire County Council spokesman said.

But it is not known whether the repair work will help alleviate flooding in the town.

The spokesman added: “There is no guarantee flooding will be prevented – and none has ever been given, as sudden very heavy rain can overwhelm the available storage.

“However, when reinstalled and back to full operation, the structure helps to mitigate the risk of tidal and fluvial flooding.”

Pembroke mayor Councillor Keith Nicholas said he hoped the repair work would help minimise problems.

He said this winter’s flooding on the Commons was, to “a larger degree”, because the barrage did not open or close, as well as unusually high tides.

“I hope that with the work nearing completion this will minimise flooding in the future,” he added.

Pembroke town councillor Linda Asman said the barrage was an “ongoing controversy”, which “has never worked properly”, and had cost the taxpayer “goodness knows how much” in the process.