Belfast Telegraph

It's just dim to spend all that money on lamp posts

By Lindy McDowell

Does £80,000 plus spent on the prettification of our lamp posts represent value for money? Especially at a time when hospitals, schools and the country in general is being ravaged by recession.

Supporters of what's called 'city dressing' might argue that if we want to boost tourism we need to spend to spruce the place up a bit.

But 80 grand for banners?

Is this just me ... ?

More than 400 of these banners are going to be erected (will that cost extra?) in the next few months. These are brightly coloured graphic designs based (loosely) on local iconic images.

And. as you will have spotted, they're already appearing on a lamp post near you.

The City Hall (a series of dome shapes), the shipyard (brightly coloured Hs and Ws) and starlings (birdy shapes again in primary hues) are more or less identifiable. But most of the rest are frankly baffling. They aren't ugly. Just obscure. They look like wallpaper samples.

Or sheets of the sort of gift wrap you'd use for a house warming present. Cheerful, but nondescript.

They're up there (in every sense) with the B banners from the last 'branding' exercise. You know - the B entertained, B welcome, B curious about how much this is costing the taxpayer stuff, again hung artistically from local lamp posts.

You half expect to see one with brightly coloured pound signs. Or, capturing the essence of the place, one featuring discarded food cartons and other litter.

Just a thought but maybe the money could have been better spent - for tarting up purposes - by the city's cleansing department?

And no, it's not that I'm entirely against financial layout on aesthetics.

Some genius from the City Council Parks Department (I assume) planted the central reservation of the Belvoir dual carriageway this summer with wild meadow flowers including poppies. It was a simple but stunning display that lasted for weeks and weeks. Take a bow whoever came up with that one.

Money well spent there.

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