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£50k Olympic cycling statue in Hadleigh 'a waste of money'
A PLANNED £50,000 sculpture to mark the Olympics in Hadleigh has been described as a “waste of money” and “not pretty”.
Residents turned out to complain about the five metre-high steel sculpture, which depicts a bike rider travelling downhill.
It has been designed to symbolise the Olympic mountain bike competition being held at Hadleigh Farm in August and will be put up on the Victoria House roundabout, which links Kiln Road, Rayleigh Road, Benfleet Road and London Road in Hadleigh.
However, it is not to everyone’s taste. Rob Perryman, 79, from Sandown Road, in Thundersley, spoke out at a Castle Point community meeting on Monday night.
He said: “What annoys me is how money is getting spent on so many things, but issues that have been in Castle Point for years are not getting fixed.
“There is a narrow footpath that runs alongside Rayleigh Road and the lamp post is badly positioned, making it dangerous.
“I have been struck by the wing mirror of a car before. I have been trying to get the council to do something about it for three years, but nothing has been done.
“How can £50,000 be spent on a sculpture when issues like this haven’t been looked at.”
Colin Henwood, 63, from Prittle Close in Benfleet, added: “My view is that it would be a waste of money and it’s not pretty. We have got the Olympic statue outside Morrisons in Hadleigh and that is nice. To me, that is something to remember the Games by, so why do we need another?
“A committee hall is needed. The whole idea of the Olympics is to leave a legacy and what better way than helping the community? Some money should be spent on helping existing areas.”
The sculpture has been paid for by the Government’s Olympic Executive as part of a art project connected to all boroughs hosting Olympic events.
It will be moved to the site after the Games.
Pam Challis, leader of Castle Point Council, said the Games coming to the area had already led to added investment. She said: “There are regenerations planned for sites in Castle Point, such as Hadleigh Hall and the town centre, so the people of Castle Point will soon be treated to these regnerations as well as the Olympic monument. It’s an exciting time for Castle Point.”
Councillors are set to make a final decision on the sculpture at a planning meeting at the council offices in Kiln Road, Thundersley, next Tuesday.
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