Anger as Torbay…

Torbay Mayor spends £7,000 on Torquay palm tree

Anger when  mayor Gordon Oliver’s plans to spend £20,000 on a giant palm tree scheme for the entrance to Torquay.

A showpiece 20ft tall potted palm will have to be removed in three years’ time to make way for the new Kingswerswell bypass.

The floodlit Canary date palm is being craned in from Spain on Monday on to the Kerswell Gardens roundabout, which will be demolished when the new South Devon Link Road is completed.
The £7,000 palm tree will be the centre piece for the £20,000 improvement scheme. Torbay Council says the money will come from a £100,000 Gateway Project to improve the entrance to the town.

Opposition councillors have questioned whether the money is well-spent at a time of up to £10million cuts;

  • overspending on adult and children’s serves
  • lack of funds for other facilities such as Brixham’s Shoalstone Pool.

Brixham councillor Mike Morey said: “Gordon Oliver is not prepared to save Shoalstone Pool, which is a major tourism attraction in Brixham, but he’s prepared to stick a tree on a roundabout for that kind of money.

Work started on Monday clearing and levelling the overgrown roundabout.The centre is being raised by two metres, and will be covered with a blanket of large limestone rocks.The Phoenix Canariens palm is being positioned in a pot at the centre of the island. It will be lit by solar LED at night.

Mr Oliver said “The tree and the limestone rocks will provide a suitably welcoming sight as people head into the Bay, and indeed leave our many thousands of visitors with an abiding memory when they set off for home.This is a beginning of changes made as a result of the start of the bypass last week.”

Cllr Julien Parrott said: “I wasn’t aware of this. I have nothing against palm trees but we can all think of something we would rather see £20,000 spent on whether it is adult services, children services or keeping a day care for older people open for six months.

Gordon Oliver below.

 ​Gordon oliver 3
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