We're furious after our council spent an eye-watering £174,000 on six TREES – what a waste of money | The Sun

A COUNCIL has been slammed after spending £174,000 to plant SIX trees in its town centre.

Blackpool Council have raised eyebrows after splashing out on the trees – with the massive expense also going towards building an underground system to keep them alive.

The council's mammoth tree planting cost has been slammed online as tone deaf in the current cost-of-living crisis, with one person tweeting: "The council must think money grows on trees."

Another commented: "What a waste of public money at this time."

"Imagine Blackpool Council spent £174,000 to plant 6 trees. Just let that settle for a moment" asked another.

Conservative Councillor Gerard Walsh, who put in a Freedom of Information (FOI) request to reveal the shocking figure, joined locals in questioning if it was "value for money".

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"With the cost of living crisis, I ask is that value for money for the Labour group?" asked Mr Walsh at a council meeting.

Blackpool Council's latest splurge comes three years after it spent £100,000 on 10 trees.

The council defended the move, saying the money has come from a £7 million government-funded 'Quality Corridors' project to upgrade town centres.

Councillor Lynn Williams, the Labour leader of Blackpool Council, responded to the spending by saying the money would go to other towns if Blackpool did not apply for it.

"We are going to carry on applying for grant funding for the town centre and we are going to have a green town centre" argued the council leader.

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Mr Walsh's FOI request found that while £4,400 was spent on planting the trees, the rest of the £170k expense went into creating an extravagant underground system to ensure the trees survive.

The FOI response defended this as necessary, as traditional methods of digging out a pit and filling with soil have "almost always resulted in failures of the trees.

"A tree really requires a full grass verge with deep top soil to give space and medium for roots to grow and for them to find moisture in dry conditions to allow the tree to survive.

"This is particularly true in the windy conditions that Blackpool generally experiences" it added.

The Sun has reached out to Blackpool Council for comment.

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