Maida Vale’s three Conservative Councillors have decided to spend over £17,300, nearly 40% of their annual Ward Budget, on 139 hanging baskets, following the example set by their two Marylebone High Street Conservative colleagues who, in April decided, to spend £35,000 on 281 hanging baskets.
Labour Councillors have condemned the expenditure of so much public money on hanging baskets when roads and pavements in many parts of Westminster are in a dreadful state and when many parts of Paddington still do not have an adequate weekend street sweeping service.
Labour Councillors say that this decision demonstrates how out-of-touch two of the Maida Vale Conservative Councillors are with the needs of residents. Councillor Alastair Moss was elected to the City of London Corporation for the Cheap Ward in April and Councillor Lee Rowley was selected as the Conservative Parliamentary Candidate for North East Derbyshire in February and advertises on his Twitter account (@Lee4NED) that he is a “Hasland resident” (which is in Derbyshire). Yet both Councillors have retained their seats on the City Council.
Councillor Paul Dimoldenberg, Leader of the Labour Group, said;
“At a time of austerity when every penny of public money needs to be spent on maintaining basic infrastructure, like roads, pavements and street sweeping, it cannot be justified spending over £17,000 on hanging baskets which may be ‘nice to have’ but are certainly not essential in today’s economic climate.”
“These two Maida Vale Conservatives are totally out-of-touch with reality. They are spending public money with little thought to residents’ real needs and maintaining the basic infrastructure of the area. If Maida Vale is no longer a priority for their attention they should both resign and allow residents to choose two new Councillors without further delay”