Cash to repair provost’s lamp
£100 gesture agreed towards artefact
A council committee had to vote on whether or not to grant a Perth resident common good cash to fix an old provost’s lamp after one member questioned if it was appropriate.
The vote had to be arranged after Perth City South councillor Sheila McCole argued the planned repair would not benefit the public.
Guidance provided to councillors recommends they only consider applications for grants from the Perth Common Good Fund “where it can be demonstrated that there is a benefit to the residents of the city of Perth”.
A paper put before the Perth Common Good Fund committee for consideration last week said: “An application has been received from a Perth resident wishing to repair an old provost lamp within the grounds of a dwelling on Glasgow Road.
“The lamp is on private property, but the upper section of the lamppost can be seen by the public from the road.
“The lamp would have been gifted by the burgh to the provost a long time ago and has fallen into private ownership as the property has changed owners. The total cost of the restoration is estimated to be £400.”
Perth City Centre councillor Andrew Parrott, the convener of the committee, said he was content to grant the individual the full £200 they had asked for to cover half the cost of repairing the lamp.
He said: “I think it is a slight oddball [application] in a sense, but I certainly think it is worthwhile ... assisting with the restoration of an item that is very much part of the city’s heritage.”
But Cllr McCole argued the applicant ought to be granted nothing considering the lamp is now regarded as private property.
She said: “I don’t think this is a common good cost and I don’t think we should pay it.”
Perth City South councillor Willie Wilson said he felt the new owner ought to pay for any repairs to the lamp out of their own pocket, adding: “When you buy the house, you buy the lamp.”
Perth City Centre councillor Peter Barrett came up with a compromise and recommended the committee agree to grant the individual just £100 towards the full £400 cost of fixing the lamp.
He said: “I recognise that these are historical ... artefacts of Perth city but also that they are private property.
“I think providing 50 per cent of refurbishment costs is excessive but I think a gesture of £100 towards the £400 would be reasonable under the circumstances.”
Cllr McCole moved an amendment to deny the applicant any funding whatsoever.
Her amendment fell, however, as committee members voted five to three in favour of granting the applicant £100 as suggested by Cllr Barrett.
When you buy the house, you buy the lamp