Planters provoke criticism

Keith Cazaly is concerned that the new planters at Morpeth's Grange Road shops are a waste of money.'REF 1907132916
Keith Cazaly is concerned that the new planters at Morpeth's Grange Road shops are a waste of money.'REF 1907132916

A NEW scheme to spruce up an estate has been blasted as out of keeping and a waste of money.

Five new tree planters have been installed in Grange Road, Morpeth, to improve the appearance of a paved area beside the shops as part of a wider Stobhill regeneration project.

But resident Keith Cazaly, of Stobhill Grange, is furious after discovering that the planters cost £880 each.

And he was even more annoyed to find that another £1,700 has been spent on ten flower tubs for other parts of Stobhill.

“The cost of these five tubs is £4,400 and they are absolutely horrendous and totally out of place,” he said.

“With the other tubs, it is beyond belief that anyone can spend £6,100 on this. I can’t believe it in this day and age when there is so limited money around for other more important things like repairing roads or footpaths, or for libraries.

“This is absolutely ridiculous. I feel very strongly about it. When I have told people how much this has cost they are disgusted.”

A spokeswoman for Northumberland County Council said: “The new tree planters in Grange Road are part of a streetscape scheme promoted by Coun Ian Lindley to generally make both Grange Road and the Stobhill estate more attractive. The scheme was funded by both Coun Lindley’s members’ local improvement scheme budget and Isos Housing.

“The Grange Road planters were solely funded by Isos Housing. The upkeep of the trees will be absorbed within the county council’s general maintenance budget.”

Coun Lindley said: “I have had one complaint and two positive messages about the planters. They are just one part of the Stobhill Regeneration Plan to improve shops, streetscape, junctions and all sorts of things. At the end of the day I’m working with colleagues to regenerate the area through a variety of means.”