Public Disapproval Mounts Over Broken Fountains

fountains17:45 Friday 2nd August 2013
BBC Radio Cambridgeshire

CHRIS MANN: The fountains in Cathedral Square in Peterborough have yet to be switched on, despite repair costs of £96,000. They were due on today, but that’s been postponed again. Earlier our reporter Johhny D. was in Cathedral Square to see what people thought about the delay. (TAPE)
JOHN DEVINE: We’re near the fountains in Peterborough’s Cathedral Square. Still no sign of life though. The barriers still surround them. Got a gentleman with me. Do you think they should put them to bed ’till next year now, do you think?
PUBLIC ONE: Well I think they should put them to bed full stop. They’ve never worked properly, and the amount of money they cost, they’d have been better off putting just a round fountain there, with just a nice little water feature on it and be done with it. It would be far cheaper. They could have spent the money on something else like health care or whatever. It’s a waste of money.
PUBLIC TWO: Definitely attractive when the sun’s shining and the water’s playing. But really it’s a lot of money for what benefit we get as local people, or even the visitors get. It’s not value for money, the fountains, but they are attractive.
JOHN DEVINE: Not been playing for a little while.
PUBLIC TWO: No.
JOHN DEVINE: No. That’s alright then. Save a bit of water. Do you think we should switch them off till next year then? Wait ’till Spring?
PUBLIC TWO: Yes.
PUBLIC THREE: I think it would have been better if they had one like Trafalgar Square.
JOHN DEVINE: One big fountain?
PUBLIC THREE: Yes. One big one.
JOHN DEVINE: What? With a big column? You know they’ve got Nelsons Column there. Who would be on top of the one here? Not Nelson. Who would it be? Barry Fry?
PUBLIC THREE: (LAUGHS) It could be.
PUBLIC FOUR: A waste of money. Absolute waste of money. They could have spent it on other things. As it is they’ve never worked, have they? And when they do work it’s winter.
PUBLIC FIVE: They’ve taken the buses off (to save) a few thousand a year. And they spent over six million quid on this. A waste of money.
JOHN DEVINE: The bus service has been cut, you’re saying.
PUBLIC FIVE: They’re taking it off, from Newborough.
JOHN DEVINE: You’re Newborough are you?
PUBLIC FIVE: Yes.
JOHN DEVINE: Of course you’ve been affected by the bus cuts.
PUBLIC FIVE: This bus is cut it’s gone completely.
JOHN DEVINE: How does it make you feel to see that?
PUBLIC FIVE: That is a flipping waste of money, that is.
PUBLIC SIX: Well I just find them a complete waste of money. For the times they’ve been on, and what they do, they’re just pointless, absolutely pointless to me.
JOHN DEVINE: At the moment there’s workmen over there, trying to get them going. They should be working again next week. Should we forget it for this year? Start again next year? Because it will soon be autumn, won’t it?
PUBLIC SIX: Well it will be. I think they should definitely leave them. Really get them right. because they’ve never been right since they started. So .. Our money, isn’t it? That’s how I feel.
JOHN DEVINE: What do you think of these fountains? Do you like them?
PUBLIC SEVEN: I’d rather not ..
JOHN DEVINE: You’d rather not say. Is it too controversial?
PUBLIC SEVEN: Possibly.
JOHN DEVINE: Yes. Watch your Ps and Qs.
CHRIS MANN: That was Johnny D there, reporting from Peterborough.
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