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Regeneration scheme ‘cost lots of money’

May 27, 2009

ashfordringroadAnother week, another freedom of information request story. This time it’s the Kentish Express doing their bit to embarrass those naughty politicians.

The request centres around the costs of street furniture for the Ashford ring road scheme, a £10m regeneration project to improve traffic flow and boost accessibility to the town centre.

According to the paper the request reveals that stainless steel rubbish bins cost £1,500 each, cycle racks nearly £400 each and the designer of lamp-posts charged a fee of more than £20,000. In addition, wooden and steel benches cost £1,870 each; £4,100 was spent on a prototype timber and stone bench; more than £31,000 was spent on the 36 wooden bollards, an average of £700 each and a further £5,953 was spent on granite benches.

The story is similar to my post on Friday and whereas some of these costs do seem a little excessive, frankly, I’m behind the council again on this one.

People want big eye-catching regeneration schemes to bring in jobs and boost prosperity but ultimately they don’t want to pay for it. It seems pretty cynical to focus on short term costs rather than the long-term benefits this scheme will bring to the Ashford area.

I would expect similar stories to emerge over the coming months as the anti-politician backlash trundles on through the silly season.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Manchester Dave permalink
    May 27, 2009 4:28 pm

    I’m in the wrong line of work, I should have opened a bollard factory!

  2. Tricky Micky permalink
    May 27, 2009 5:12 pm

    Quite agree with Dave. Not about the regeneration, we all are in favour of that in our cities and towns. But the ability of politicians and, mainly, council officers to squander Other Peoples Money (OPM) on friperies and ultra expensive items is legendary. Coming out of their own pockets they wouldn’t see the light of day. Of course, 99.99% of the beggars have never owned a business or had to earn their own corn. They get a transfer into the bank every month. And as much public money as they waste they never get fired!!

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