Could you raise the cash for better signs?

New Spalding signs on way into town'Photo:  SG051113-TW www.spaldingtoday.co.uk/buyaphoto
New Spalding signs on way into town'Photo: SG051113-TW www.spaldingtoday.co.uk/buyaphoto
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A councillor under fire over new welcome to Spalding signs has thrown down the gauntlet to critics, saying they could fundraise and buy something better.

Coun Roger Gambba-Jones said criticisms have ranged from “what a waste of taxpayers’ money in hard times” to “they are not a patch on the originals, they look cheap and nasty”.

But he says the five signs, put in for a total cost of £700, do the job while multi-coloured 3D versions would be about £10,000 and that’s too big a bill for Spalding Town Forum to pay.

Critics have made pops at the signs on Twitter and in a letter to the Spalding Guardian from reader Rodney Sadd, who said several of his friends had commented on “how cheap and nasty they look”.

Coun Gambba-Jones says the town forum doesn’t have as much money to spend as parish councils do and it would be “fantastic” if the community would fundraise to put something better in their place.

He said: “That would actually demonstrate some community spirit, some pride in the town from people other than councillors – we don’t have exclusivity on good ideas and making things happen.”

Coun Gambba-Jones said the signs are made from a laminated, compound material – the same as road signs.

He said: “I think part of the criticism has come from the fact that it’s based on a district council type logo, but again it’s something that’s recognisable – people don’t seem to complain when they see it on the side of our refuse trucks, which seems to suggest there is pride in the district.”

The £700 bill included the cost of refurbishing the posts the signs are mounted on.

Coun Gambba-Jone said in an ideal world, the forum would probably have gone through a competition process – probably asking schoolchildren to design something – but the cost of manufacturing the signs was against that.

He said he expected the first comment on the new signs to be “critical, negative and tinged with an element of spite”, but says he doesn’t mind taking the flak.

“You stick your head above the parapet and you expect to get fired at,” he said.