The ‘West End Extra’ reports;
“Marylebone councillors have been criticised for spending 75 per cent of their annual ward budget on 281 hanging baskets.
The decision to spend £35,000 of the neighbourhood’s £46,000 fund on flowers was submitted to the council earlier this week by Councillor Ian Rowley and Councillor Edward Baxter.
Nik Slingsby, the Labour candidate for the upcoming by election in Marylebone High Street, said the money should have been spent on road improvements and was a sign of “frivolity”.
But the councillors say in their proposals, that the hanging baskets are part of Westminster Council’s plan to “make our neighbourhoods cleaner, greener, quieter, well-maintained, and attractive”.
A by-election is set to take place on May 2, after the former Lord Mayor of Westminster Councillor Harvey Marshall resigned last month.
After the hanging baskets are installed the ward will be left with £36,000 to spend because £25,000 of last year’s fund was not spent.
Mr Slingsby said: “It’s saddening that public money is being spent in this way and it serves to highlight the Conservatives’ frivolity at a time of austerity.
“I would find better ways of spending this money, for example, on road and pavement repairs and books that would educate our children for the future as opposed to flowers that will only blossom briefly.”
Cities of London and Westminster Conservative Association were unable to provide a comment from councillors Rowley and Baxter who, they said, were busy canvassing in Marylebone High Street.”
Promoted by Paul Dimoldenberg at 44 Manor House, Marylebone Road, NW1 5NP on behalf of Nik Slingsby 1 Harrowby Court, Harrowby Street, W1H 5FA