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Council 'wasted' cash on pictures
WYRE Forest District Council has “wasted” thousands of pounds on royal portraits, picture frames and plants for its new headquarters, it has been claimed.
Figures have revealed the authority forked out almost £6,000 on the items for the £10 million Finepoint Way building, which opened in October.
A total of £3,475 was spent on a picture hanging system, while £853 went on three kentia palm plants.
The district council also forked out £372 to reframe 31 photos of past council chairmen and £588 for a plaque for the official opening.
Royal portraits of the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh were also purchased for a total of £437.
The figures were revealed after a Freedom of Information request submitted by a resident was handed to Labour district councillor Adrian Sewell, who said he was shocked by the amount spent.
Stephen Clee, chairman of the district council, said the money was funded from the authority’s capital reserves and not from council tax.
Mr Sewell said: “Obviously it shows excess of spending in these difficult times when they are asking people to cut their cloth and reduce spending.
“In these times money should be better spent elsewhere. It’s bad planning – it’s a waste of money.”
Mr Clee added: “As part of the relocation to Wyre Forest House, the opportunity was taken to re-display the photographs of past chairmen of the council.
“This involved reframing the pictures and displaying them using a new metal hanging system which is in keeping with the new civic building and will last many years.
“To mark the official opening of Wyre Forest House, a glass plaque was installed and to mark the Diamond Jubilee, the foyer also displays portrait photos of HM the Queen and HRH The Duke of Edinburgh.”