Public cash should not be spent fixing a ‘glorified hanging basket’ clock in Exmouth’s town centre.
Shoppers gave their views on the future of the Magnolia Centre clock after Exmouth Town Council recently admitted it was unclear who owned the timepiece.
The defunct electric clock sits on private land and could cost a minimum of £35,000 to dig up the site, and locate and switch off the power, before the timepiece can be repaired.
The town council said no one knows who owns the clock but Exmouth could take on the responsibility if wished, because the district council has ‘no appetite’ to get involved.
Town council clerk Lisa Bowman said: “Nobody knows whose it is actually. What is clear is that the district council don’t have any appetite to do anything with it because they don’t have the money.
“There seems to be an appetite that if the town council wants to take responsibility for sorting it out, the district council will let us proceed.”
The repair estimate has been deemed ‘excessive’ by some Exmouth residents, who want the cash used elsewhere in the town.
Diane Tillman, of Bradham Lane, said: “That clock hasn’t been working for about two years. If it’s not working, why not take it down.
“It’s a bit of an eyesore. It’s a glorified hanging basket.”
Marni Martinez, of Morton Road, Exmouth, said: “It’s an excessive amount. I can think of better things to put the money into, like more entertainment for young people. Something to keep them out of trouble.”
Pensioner Suzie Wade, also of Morton Road, said: “It’s an eyesore. It’s got birds’ mess on the tip. It’s horrible. It would be nice to have a handsome clock.”
Shaun Maloney, of Raleigh Road, also a pensioner, said: “There are other things to spend that money on, and that should be protected. Not a clock that nobody really notices. I have never looked at it.”
Questions over the ownership of the clock began in the summer when Exmouth town councillor Paul Millar said he believed there was a ‘good business case’ to refresh the Magnolia Centre.