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Last Updated: Thursday, 29 November 2007, 15:13 GMT
Provost's lamppost causes upset
Provost Margaret Brisley
The lamppost was erected outside the home of Margaret Brisley
Stirling Council has been accused of wasting taxpayers' money on vanity, after erecting a decorative lamppost outside the home of the provost.

The local authority spent 7,000 installing a new lamppost at Provost Margaret Brisley's home in Bannockburn.

The council stopped the tradition in the 1980s under former leader and current Labour MP Michael Connarty.

But the practice was re-introduced by Labour in 1996, initially at minimal cost as old posts were re-used.

Conservative members have attacked the new lamppost accusing the administration of wasting resources.

Councillor Alistair Berrill, said: "Across all areas of council spending departments are being told by the Labour-Liberal administration to make cuts.

"Yet 7,000 can be found for this vanity project.

'Public service'

"How many hours of nursery education could have been paid for with this money?"

The authority's last Conservative Provost of Stirling, Mrs Pat Greenhill, said it was "ironic" that Labour had re-introduced the tradition.

She said: "In the 1980s, it was Labour who were always critical of anything smacking of tradition.

"They called the title of provost and civic robes 'self-aggrandisement'.

"There was never a council vote re-instating provost's lampposts."

A council spokeswoman insisted that the authority had done nothing wrong.

She said the practice of erecting a lamp outside the provost's home was part of a long Scottish tradition, dating from a time before street lighting, to indicate where important officials lived.

The spokeswoman added: "The provost of a royal burgh, such as Stirling, were given lamps outside their dwellings to indicate that a council official lived there and Stirling Council has continued with this tradition.

"Historically, the provost got a special lamp which was kept outside their house as a mark of the public service they had given to the community."

SEE ALSO
Labour takes control of council
18 May 07 |  Tayside and Central
Labour hit by council seat losses
04 May 07 |  Scotland

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