Storm erupts over who should pay for road safety balloons

ROAD safety campaigners had to go round with a begging bowl after councillors refused to stump up £200 for balloons to help promote their work.

“We feel badly let down by the council,” said Ann Rutherford, the chairwoman of Brighouse Road Safety Committee.

She told Calderdale Council Cabinet that everyone knew times were tough but the balloons were a vital way of engaging with children.

“By giving one helium balloon to a child we have an opportunity to give them a pep talk about road safety and if that saves just one life then it is worth the cost.”

Fortunately, local businesses were more sympathetic and provided the cash for the balloons which will be distributed at Brighouse Gala on June 30.

The council’s Labour leader Tim Swift (Town) said the council continued to support the group in other ways and had provided teddy bears, colouring books, pencil holders, notebooks and leaflets.

“On this occasion, we decided that spending money on balloons was perhaps not the best use of our limited resources,” he said.

Vice-chair Pat Oates criticised the cabinet for spending money on putting up warning signs about narrow roads and speed humps which had been in place for a decade.

“It seems silly,” she said.