Villagers furious after council pays £3,400 for a hanging basket… that looks like McDonalds sign

October 24, 2012 | by | 0 Comments

Residents in a pretty village are furious after the council splashed out £3,400 on a hanging basket – which resembles the McDonald’s logo.

Locals in South Petherton, Somerset, say the display – featuring two baskets suspended from curved metal poles – is a waste of public money.

South Petherton Council contributed £3,100 towards the project and local business leaders chipped in a further £300.

The £3,400 hanging basket which resembles a McDonald's logo

The £3,400 hanging basket which resembles a McDonald’s logo

Councillor Adam Dance slammed the baskets as ugly and a waste of public funds.

He said: “It my personal opinion it looks awful – people have said it looks like the McDonald’s logo.

“It’s too modern, it’s not in keeping with the village.

“There should have been a consultation over what it would look like and I don’t think it is right that there’s been an overspend.”

The hanging baskets were suggested by a member of the public following an appeal for ideas in a parish newsletter to the village’s 7,000 residents.

South Petherton Parish Council recieved £2,700 from South Somerset District Council’s Market Towns Investment Group for the project.

But it ran over budget and ended up costing a further £700, which was provided by further council funds and a whip-round by traders.

Sharon Blake, the clerk at South Petherton Parish Council, said the extra money had been taken out of the investment fund which was “underspent”.

She added: “Clearly there are lessons to be learned here, there shouldn’t have been an overspend.

“The money we recieved for this had to be used to improve the appearance of the village – we couldn’t put it towards any of the services being cut by the district and county councils.

“Opinion on the baskets in the village is split. Some people really love it, others don’t.”

South Petherton Parish Council’s chairman Tim Rutherford has stepped down from his post – but has not given a reason for his resignation.

Brian Herrick, a parish councillor, added: “I fully support the idea of environmentally enhancing the village as much as possible, but as in all things there should be a fully considered view on expenditure such as this.

“My own personal opinion is that #100 worth of trees would have sufficed and been ecologically much better, allowing the district council grant to be spent on more useful projects and requiring no funding from our parishioners.”

The new leader of South Petherton parish council will be announced at the next parish council meeting on November 5.

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