Sign is ‘waste of money’

Couns Tony Williams and Paul Galley have accused the council of wasting money on the sign at Anchorsholme Park
Couns Tony Williams and Paul Galley have accused the council of wasting money on the sign at Anchorsholme Park
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Town hall chiefs were today accused of wasting money by installing a sign on land which is due to be dug up.

Blackpool Council has put a sign up in Anchorsholme Park asking people not to smoke when they are visiting the attraction.

The move is part of a borough-wide policy, reported by The Gazette last year, to discourage smoking in the town’s parks.

But Anchorsholme councillors Paul Galley and Tony Williams today slammed the decision to put a sign in Anchorsholme Park when United Utilities is soon due to excavate the area to put in a new main sewer and pumping station.

Coun Galley said: “It’s evident council officers don’t even talk to each other as this hideous sign has just been installed on a site which will soon be dug up.

“Not only is this clear evidence of incompetence, it’s also a shameful waste of our money.”

Coun Williams added: “United Utilities are already on the site, digging boreholes, and yet the council still went ahead and put this sign up a couple of weeks ago.

“They must have known this area is about to be excavated and the sign will already have to be moved.

“Then the sea wall work in the park starts next March.

“It means only the bowling greens and the children’s play area, where there are already separate no smoking signs, will be accessible.

“Why didn’t the council wait until all the work was done before putting this latest sign up?

“I totally agree with encouraging people not to smoke but people are ignoring the signs and they have become a canvas for graffiti.

“This money should have been spent more wisely especially in community care for our older residents.”

But council bosses today said it is not yet clear exactly where United Utilities will excavate and the park will still be used by families over the coming years. In addition any cost of moving the signs would be borne by UU, not the council.

Planning permission was granted in May to install 36 signs at parks across Blackpool.

Coun Fred Jackson, cabinet member for urban regeneration at Blackpool Council, said: “Planning permission for the signs in these positions was given in April this year, before funding for the seawall had been secured and before the plans involving the park were drawn up.

“If necessary the signs would be moved to another site.

“Needless to say that this is still a public park where children play, and the no smoking message is still an important one”.

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