Row at £13,000 cost of boards and trees

By Patrick LowmanA ROW has broken out within a town council after members voted to spend £13,500 of taxpayers' money on four new noticeboards and three trees.

By Patrick Lowman

A ROW has broken out within a town council after members voted to spend £13,500 of taxpayers' money on four new noticeboards and three trees.

Sudbury Town Council has agreed to set aside £7,500 to buy expensive new wrought-iron noticeboards to be installed in and around its historic town centre.

It has also earmarked a further £6,000 for three trees to be planted in North Street to enhance a major repaving scheme completed last year.

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A further £3,000 has been set aside and may be used to plant further trees along Market Hill, but a final decision has yet to be made.

Furious county, district and town councillor Nick Irwin has labelled the spending "a complete waste of taxpayers' money".

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He added: "These noticeboards will be nothing more than a glorified version of the ones you see in supermarkets.

"I just don't see how we can justify spending £7,500 on four new noticeboards just so people can pin messages on them. I also think there will be an element of danger because the council will have no control over the messages that will be going up.

"To spend £6,000 on three new trees is just unbelievable. It will cost so much because the new paving that has been put down will have to be dug up so the trees can be planted.

"I think this is an absolute waste of time and money and the cash could have been used for much more important purposes."

But deputy town mayor Leslie Ford-Platt said the money had been well spent and added the noticeboards and trees would help make Sudbury look "beautiful".

"This council does not waste taxpayers' money, we think very carefully about how it is spent. The noticeboards will be for community use," he added.

"It will be a facility where local people can advertise their events free of charge. As they will be going up in a conservation area they have to be of a certain quality and design standard so they fit in with the existing street scene.

"The trees are needed in North Street, they will make the street look beautiful. Trees add a beauty like nothing else can and I think this is money well spent."

Town clerk Sue Brotherwood said the work would take place in the coming months. "Two of the noticeboards will be in the town centre and the other two elsewhere, the exact location still has to be decided," she added.

"They will be made with black wrought-iron with gold trimming to blend in with the existing street signage in the town."

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