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Friday, 28 November 2008

EXCLUSIVE: Tameside Council's Statue Frenzy

It appears that Tameside Council have gone into a mad spending frenzy over statues placed across Ashton-under-Lyne. It was announced a few weeks ago in the press that to celebrate the imminent reopening of the Ashton Market Hall, that Ashton District Assembly had splashed out on six bronze sculptures. Thanks to a tip off from a reader, we have obtained documents of the costs of the sculptures under the Freedom of Information Act.

The costs are as follows:

4 x "Children Statues" - £30,000 (£7,500 each)
1 x "Miner" - £7,500
1 x "Guitar Case" - £4,500
Labour and Installation Costs - £1,643.32
TOTAL: £43,643.32

Yes you read that right, £43,643.32 of your council tax has been wasted on more tack. 

But who authorises such rubbish? Well you can point the finger at Councillor Lynn Travis (Ashton Waterloo) who is chair of Ashton-under-Lyne District Assembly (yet lives in Mossley!). However readers may be unaware that her husband, Frank Travis, is responsible for Ashton's regeneration at Tameside Council. A little conflict of interest you may think... 

It gets better. Frank is far from partisan in his job: when we heard words of Sean Parker-Perry's resignation we were told that Lynn and Frank were with Sean at the Labour Party Conference this year. And the icing on the cake is that Frank has stood as a Labour Candidate in Mossley in 2007 and was Idu Miah's agent in 2008.

There are laws that civil servants must not earn more than £35,852 per year and be political - this means standing for council or actively being a member of a party (canvassing, leafleting attending meetings etc). With Frank Travis being responsible for Ashton's regeneration we have a good guess that he is on at least £40,000. But we shall never know, as council staff salaries are not to be disclosed to the public under the Data Protection Act.

In other news, it was reported in this weeks Tameside Advertiser that Ashton District Assembly had again spent more money on statues on Lord Sheldon Way. The cost was confirmed in the article itself at £70,000 and received partial funding from the National Lottery.

UPDATE 22/12/08: This has now filtered down to the Tameside Reporter, the councils response makes interesting reading. It goes on to mention that the Lord Sheldon Way statues cost £90,000, but as stated, the Advertiser said they cost £70,000 with Lottery funding. We presume that the statues did cost £90,000 with TMBC paying £70,000 and the Lottery fund paying the remaining £20,000.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Looking at the one where the workman appears to be in a hole, where is that one positioned?

I might just walk around that corner and get next years holiday paid for!