“WISE up. You can buy two lightbulbs in Asda for a fiver. Forty grand for new lights for the Tinnies is an absolute joke.”
This opinion, from local man Eugene Brady, summed up the overall timbre of the responses to last week’s revelations that a lighting upgrade for Strabane’s ‘Let the Dance Begin’ sculptures costed at £40,000 is expected to begin later this autumn.
Revealed at a meeting of the council’s Business and Culture committee, the proposed works will include LED in-ground up-lighters.
The meeting also told that the Environment and Regeneration Directorate has secured external funding for these works through the DfC (Department for Communities’s) Recovery Grant.
However, after the news was posted on the Chronicle’s Facebook page, the response from locals was not insignificant.
“Whose silly idea was this?” Ivan WJ Quinn asked. “Waste of rate payers money, for sure.”
Staci Stewart added, “This is actually embarrassing. My seven-year-old would come up with better ideas on how to use that money!”
Deirdre Gallagher continued, “Awk seriously… Leave them in the dark.”
At the time of going to press yesterday (Wednesday), over 60,000 people had viewed the story, with 167 of those posting comments, and the numbers were rising all the time. Although few if any at all were in favour of the £40,000 spend.
“Jesus what is wrong with the people? There is a light out near were I live and they couldn’t even put a bulb in. Thought Stormont only had clowns but they are everywhere,” Sandra Speer Bogle suggested.
Geraldine Boyce added, “Our community centre in Douglas Bridge has lost its council grant of £4,000 which was vital for keeping it open and providing services for the local community. We were told that the funding was not available even though our grant application was successful!”
And Julie Devlin Devenney lamented, “What the actual what?! Nice to see where all the hard earned money is going…. down the drain!”
The proposal for the lighting upgrade will now go before a full meeting of Derry City and Strabane District Council for approval.