Plans to spend £30,000 to replace street signs in the Cotswolds with new ones that include a council crest have been branded a ‘vanity project’.
Cotswold District Council has replaced signage with new ones which include the authority’s logo and also bear the name of the local parish.
But Tory group leader Tony Berry raised concerns about it during a recent debate over the council’s investment strategy to recover from the coronavirus pandemic.
The council’s medium-term financial strategy identified an overall funding gap of almost £8.9 million by March 2026.
And they approved a strategy that aims for an average return of 7.4% to cover the cost of capital and a return compatible with the financing gap.
However, Cllr Berry said the council could save money without affecting its core strategy instead of borrowing and he pointed to signage spending.
He said: ‘We are a small council and this type of borrowing is not appropriate. That £30,000 or whatever for crests is just an indication of all the other expenses going on.
“It’s completely unnecessary. If that’s not a vain project, I don’t know what is.
“Basically we are looking at an upgrade which also affects unitary authorities, the Cotswold District Council may not even exist in a few years. What does it add to a street sign to add the parish it is in.
“People know what parish they live in. It’s not something you put in your GPS, is it?”
A spokesperson for Cotswold District Council said it has an annual budget for routine sign replacements and the current replacement program uses these funds.
They said: “Each year we replace the panels when they are damaged or have reached such an age that replacement is necessary because it is not cost effective to replace them.
“Panels are not only replaced if worn or discolored, we often simply refurbish them, but as part of our increased focus on our clean and green program, we have identified a number that need to be replaced.
“This ties into working on building Pride in Place, improving green spaces, tackling litter and environmental crime and ensuring that we improve and maintain both our natural and built environment.”