Flagging up £7k bill – but is it a waste of money?

Flags can be seen at the top of this photo from the 2016 Big Lunch event
Flags can be seen at the top of this photo from the 2016 Big Lunch event

Leighton-Linslade Town Council says spending £3,000 on brightly-coloured flags has been such a summer success that they will spend up to £4,000 extending the scheme.

Following a meeting of the partnership committee, members decided to extend the coverage of the town centre flags along High, North and Lake Streets because it adds “vibrancy” to the shopping areas.

Around £3,000 was spent on installing the flags this summer, and the extra expenditure looks to take that total to £7,000 with the additional decoration.

However, LBO readers have blasted the initial outlay and also the decision to spend more. A flood of comments on our Facebook page accused the council of wasting money, with many saying they hadn’t even noticed the flags.

But a report from the town council’s Vivien Cannon, head of economic development services, said: “The project undertaken that adds vibrancy to the High Street by the installation of coloured flags was initiated earlier this year and has been successfully received by businesses and residents alike.

“An expansion is proposed in order to fill in the gaps along High Street and Bridge Street and to complete coverage by including North Street and Lake Street in the scheme.

“Along with redistribution of existing flags, a further 50 flags, poles and holders will be needed with an estimated cost of up to £4,000.

“Improving the coverage around the town and also sets the scene to facilitate cultural/creative projects with shops and schools in designing glags towards creating future sight-seeing spectacles encouraging visits to the town.”

Gennaro Borrelli, Chair of LB First and owner of A Touch of Class hair and beauty salon, said: “Lots of customers commented on the flags, because they added a splash of colour to the town, standing out more than ordinary bunting.

“ They also underpinned important events such as the food festival and Independents’ Day. Initially, it is going to be more expensive to fund because the council have to pay for equipment such as flag pole brackets, but in the future they will just haveto cover the cost of any replacement flags.”

The jolly decor was put up during the summer months and taken down around the end of August.

What’s your view on the flags? Email news@lbobserver.co.uk