Residents in Southend have BLASTED their local council after it was revealed that £25,000 has been spent on a sign specifically to let people know that that the sign itself isn’t currently in use.
In a further development, Southend Borough Council may also be forced to pay a fine to the EU’s Public Clarity Commission as the sign itself on Victoria Avenue is technically incorrect.
Cllr Reginald Guusfat (IND) said: ‘This is a very unfortunate situation.’
‘The costs have only skyrocketed because of the feasibility study and the risk assessments that were carried out last year.’
‘When permission was granted for the sign to be erected, it was only on the condition that the sign would be converted into a regular display at a future point when the section of road introduced an element that warranted some sort of prior notification.’
‘Sadly, this future-adaptability has added £5000 to the bill as we have been forced to use a special kind of paint that is easily removed with the correct chemicals.’
We asked Cllr Guusfat for more details about the threat of a financial penalty from the European Union over the sign being ‘technically incorrect.’
He added: ‘Unfortunately this is true. Even though it says ‘Sign Not In Use,’ technically it is in use as it is informing people that the sign is not in use. Ergo, it is in fact a live display of accurate information that contradicts itself.’
‘We have been given six-months to find a solution or taxpayers will have to foot the bill for the statutory £100,000 penalty.’
‘However, we have asked David Davies to try and raise the issue in Brussels during the Brexit negotiations, and we are hoping that the fine can be waived in return for the offer of a soft Irish border.’