UK council criticized for spending £ 60,000 on American-style parks that look like “tacky sun loungers”

UK council criticized for spending £ 60,000 on American-style parks that look like “tacky sun loungers”

UK council criticized for spending £ 60,000 on American-style parks that look like “tacky sun loungers”

A cash-strapped council has been criticized for spending tens of thousands of pounds on American-style parks that look like “tacky sun loungers on a random piece of decking.”

The small seating areas, believed to have cost £ 60,000, are the first of their kind in the UK to be installed in the historic market town of Louth, Lincs.

Lincolnshire County Council erected the brightly colored wooden seats and terraces as part of a program to encourage people to spend more time in the city.

But many residents called the move a “waste of taxpayers’ money” and a “dangerous eyesore” as they jut out onto a busy main road.

Others said they were “baffled” by the “cot on some random decking” which “was not in harmony” with the town’s Georgian architecture.

Seating platforms are a common sight in the United States and originated in San Francisco, where parking lots are transformed into “vibrant community spaces”.

But they faced strong opposition from the locals living in Louth, who accused the council of “missing the plot” and branded them as “horrible” and “a joke”.

Taxi driver Harry Bolton, 48, of Louth, said: “Everyone is amazed at how ridiculously ugly they are. It’s a complete waste of taxpayers’ money.

“But what’s more, they can’t be safe. They’re jutting out into one of the busiest streets in the city and there’s no traffic protection.

“Not only that, who wants to lie down on a wooden bed in the middle of the city center inhaling the fumes of passing traffic?

“I haven’t taken a passenger who thinks they’re a good idea. The board is completely out of touch with what people want.

“This is not the United States, we are a historic Georgian city in Great Britain and they just look like garbage and are not in harmony with the area.

“And that’s before we consider safety issues. Someone could be seriously injured or worse.”

The move also faced opposition from councilors who said “modern seating” collides with strict rules within the Louth conservation area.

A recent public meeting saw around 250 people vote almost unanimously in favor of calling on the council to stop the program, which aims to promote cycling and hiking.

Louth City and District Councilor Andrew Leonard said, “This latest initiative is really the last straw, who the hell wants to sit by the roadside with cars, vans, buses and delivery vehicles passing by?

“The county council has not listened to what the public wants for their city center and has no contact.”

Other audience members flooded the community pages on social media with negative feedback.

Coffee shop owner Kerry Ashby said, “I have no words! Joke aside, not in accordance with the Georgian conservation order, what a waste of taxpayers’ money, horrible. “

Sophie Vines wrote: “Hmm, not at all convinced by this Town of Louth. A sunbed on some decking in the middle of a historic market town … # bewildered”

Councilor Richard Davies, executive member for highways at the authority, said they were experimenting with different options under the government-backed Active Travel Scheme.

He said: “The first signs from the people in the city interacting with us were that, overall, the parks are a good idea and will be used as intended.

“There is clearly a lot of support in Louth, and throughout Lincolnshire, for exploring different ways of using our main roads and getting around them.

“The government has provided this money to experiment with new ideas and approaches to try and do things better.

“These are the latest insights into what is the ongoing testing period for a sustainable future for the market city.

“We are testing various options to see which works best to encourage people to stay longer and fully appreciate and use the activities and services Louth has to offer.

“We understand these parklets are somewhat controversial, but while our installation was taking place, we experienced firsthand a fairly even division of ideas and support regarding the scheme as a whole and parklets in particular.

“During the installation we had several groups of people using the parklets as soon as they could, with some returning to them throughout the evening to make the most of a place to sit and rest before continuing the night on the town.

“We remain open to all feedback not only on this element, but on the entire 18 month trial scheme for Louth.

“Since this is a test, we know the elements are very fluid and we are constantly reviewing what works and what needs a tweak here and there.”

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