See the light! You’re wasting our money

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A TRADER has slammed irresponsible town hall spending as new lampposts had to be replaced as part of a major development.

The Talbot Gateway scheme – now called Blackpool’s Central Business District – is a £220m scheme which has been years in the planning.

However, Darren Olive, 43, owner of Discount Tiles, on George Street, claims lampposts recently installed for the council by energy giant E.On will have to be taken out when work begins.

He said: “When work is started on the new roads the lampposts will have to be ripped out and that’s a waste of council tax cash.

Wasted

“I hate to see money wasted, especially when it’s my own.”

A new road layout has also been approved for George Street and three lampposts already put there will have to be taken out and positioned further back when the road is widened to allow two-way traffic.

The project, designed by Muse Developments, will include new private businesses and offices, a supermarket, retail outlets and a revamped multi-storey car park.

But Mr Olive said more thought should have been put into spending taxpayers’ money – with an eye on what would happen at the site in the near future.

He added: “I watched the work and counted 20 different trucks being used to change the lampposts.

“I don’t know why they didn’t leave the street around here until last, when they knew what had to come in.

“You would think they had the common sense to leave this area.

“It’s my money and my tax and it doesn’t seem right – and when I called the council they told me they had nothing to do with it.”

Blackpool Council today admitted installing the lampposts was a mistake.

Coun Fred Jackson, cabinet member for Streets and Transport: “We’re working alongside E.On to upgrade many of the street lights around Blackpool, so they are brighter and more efficient to run.

“The mistake in replacing a few of the street lights on George Street is exactly that, an honest mistake.

“E.On has kindly agreed to shoulder the cost of replacing these street lights once the site work on the new Central Business District begins, meaning the tax payer will not pay a penny towards this mistake.”