A West End councillor has said the handling of the Sinderins Beacon was “not the council’s finest moment” after a readers’ poll drew largely negative views of the new Perth Road sculpture.
The public art work, which is a part of the city’s Dundee Decides consultation, has received less than positive feedback from those living in the local area since it was installed last Thursday.
It has also drawn criticism after Dundee City Council confirmed it came in over budget – understood to be around £16,000 more than planned.
Residents have labelled it “hideous” and said that they “can’t see it bringing joy to anyone”.
Following the backlash, The Courier and Evening Telegraph ran an opinion poll asking: Is the Sinderins Beacon value for money?
A total of 359 votes were cast, with 339 of those saying the new sculpture was not worth the money.
Just 20 people felt it was a worthwhile expense, meaning 94% of those sampled felt the money could have been better spent elsewhere.
‘My main area of concern is how the budget was handled’
West End councillor Fraser Macpherson admitted on Tuesday that the handling of the project “was not the council’s finest moment”.
He said: “What I would say is the feedback on the beacon has been mixed, but my main area of concern is how the budget was handled.
“The principle of public art was voted for by the public as part of the Dundee Decides consultation, but having said that I feel as though the process could have been handled better.
“The project did come in £16,000 over budget and I’m very concerned that nobody came back to the community for consultation on whether or not we should push through with this.
“Now, we were able to pay it off because other projects came in under budget, but that doesn’t really matter.
“I think that the handling of this was not the council’s finest moment, and I’ve been all the way up to the chief executive on that.
“In principal the idea of public art is fine , but we really need to handle the process better.”
The councillor is also calling for local communities to be more included in future public art projects, saying: “Let’s face it, DJCAD is right down the road and the West End is a very creative, very artistic community.
“We need to focus on including members of the public and residents more in the future, maybe hold design competitions and have people vote on what they like the most? Just something to involve the local community more.”