Great Britain

Middlesbrough councillor to repaint street furniture herself

“I’ll paint them myself then,” a councillor has pledged after a local authority sent her three tins of paint to renovate street furniture.

Independent councillor Joan McTigue says she has taken it upon herself to repaint fences and bollards in her Longlands and Beechwood ward after Middlesbrough Council declined her requests to send council staff.

The council says it has a town-wide “rolling programme of maintenance works” but added that it would support any councillors who took it upon themselves to improve their ward areas.

Cllr McTigue said she had been left to do the work herself after the council sent her three tins of paint at her request.

“They said they haven’t got the staff to do it so I asked for the paint so I could do it myself,” said Cllr McTigue. “I just want straight to the top and spoke to the council’s director for the environment. He said you can have the paint if you want to do it yourself.

“So they’ve given me three tins of paint, which proves they acknowledge that the work needs to be done, but it’s left for me to do it.”

Cllr McTigue said she wants to start work as soon as possible – but keen not to get caught out by technicalities – she added that work won’t start without some chalk.

“I was going to start yesterday but I needed some chalk to write ‘wet paint’ on the pavement,” she said.

“You have to do that. Otherwise people would be able to say their clothes were ruined and they could sue the council – it would end up being more trouble than it’s worth.

“Now I’m just waiting for the bad winds to die down because it’s so cold doing it at the moment.

“Residents do care about where they live. If you don’t keep the place looking nice, nobody will want to live there and house prices will start to drop.

“If anybody is willing to help they can get in touch with me. It’s amazing how much you can get done in half an hour.”

A spokesman for Middlesbrough Council said: “The authority has a rolling programme of maintenance works for all areas of the town.

“However, while that work is programmed in, we will support councillors as much as we can when they want to do something to improve their area.

“It is something that has been done before and we will gladly discuss any ideas members of the council have for area improvements.”

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