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Solution offered following £26k planters backlash

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By Fiona Reid
Dumfries and West
Solution offered following £26k planters backlash

A SOLUTION has been offered in a row over large red planters costing £26,000 installed in the Queen Street area of the town.

Members of transport group Sustrans attended a public meeting on Tuesday and revealed the results of a survey which had offered three potential options to address the large street furniture which appeared as part of wider council regeneration efforts totalling £800,000.
Resident Vanda Hamilton attended the meeting and said: “There were three different options.”
Option A was to leave the planters unchanged, option B to swap large tree planters on McLellan St with small hexagonal planters on Queen St, and option C to replace the four large tree planters on McLellan St with four small round planters.
Mrs Hamilton said: “Included in the options was to change the colour, being asked to pick either mulberry or black.”
Option C received the most votes, leaving all other planters unchanged but set to be repainted black.
But while at least one resident had been calling for the planters to be removed, it has been noted this option was not offered in a survey of residents in a Sustrans newsletter offering three choices.
And out of 120 newsletters sent out, there were only 41 responses by post and email.
Labour councillor John Martin attended Tuesday’s meeting, and admitting his own surprise at the original colour of the planters said: “I think it’s been addressed very well, considering the consultation.”
Asked if there was any issue with residents being offered just three options, and no option to remove the planters, he said: “Not really, because you’re not going to please everybody all the time, and that’s why it was never an option.”
And he added: “It’s a shame that a £800,000 improvement scheme for Queen Street comes down to four planters at the end, as it’s made a massive improvement to the area.”
Dumfries and Galloway Council confirmed the most popular option offered will be taken forward, and the planters painted black.
And the local authority has confirmed a cost of £26,000 to Sustrans to purchase the planters in the first place.

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