Monday, October 08, 2007

Totem Pole Caption Competition

You may have seen this competition featured on the front page of last week's Sutton Guardian or in my last ward newsletter.
Regular readers will know that the totem poles are my pet subject with £23,000 of taxpayers' money (via landfill tax credits not council tax, but taxpayers' money nonetheless) wasted on public art looking out of place opposite a hospital that is in danger of closure through a lack of cash. At the last council meeting we were told that we shouldn't refer to them as Totem Poles for fear of offending Indigenous North American natives.
Imaginary offence to North American Indians is not a reason to rename them. Maybe the fact that they haven't got a series of heads sitting on top of each other is reason enough. Let me know what they should be called. The best entry as judged by me wins a bottle of House of Commons Whisky signed by David Cameron. Send your entries to (substitute the AT for the usual sign, I don't want a whole load of spam in the meantime.) Leave a suggestion or two in the comments section as well.


Anonymous said...

How much of taxpayers' money was wastefully spent on festooning the town centres in the Sutton borough with all those green banners about Personal Transport Advisers calling to advise Sutton residents on how to use public transport?

Unknown said...


This is part of a £3.5m package from Transport for London called Smarter Travel Sutton. The money is meant to be used for "soft options" to encourage people out of their cars (ie not extra speed bumps).

My colleague, Tim Crowley is meeting Peter Hendy, Head of TfL, on Wednesday and so may be able to address some of these concerns. We are always told that this is not from Sutton Council Tax, which is factually correct. However, the money for TfL still comes from the London taxpayer and so we must make sure that every penny that comes back to Sutton is spent wisely.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps after last week's headlines one totem pole could be called "Myfanwy" and other could be called "Wallace".

Anonymous said...

Why don't you name them 'tom' and 'paul' after two other useless erections and waste of money in the borough?

Anonymous said...


Brennan and Tope?

Dombey and Hall?

Lib and Dem?

Anonymous said...

'waste' and 'money'

'bill' and 'ben'

'pounds' and 'pence'

'p*** up' and 'brewery'

Anonymous said...

"Utter" and "Rubbish"

Anonymous said...

'pretentious' and 'tat'

Anonymous said...

"eye" & "sore"


Anonymous said...

"Burstow" & "Brake"?

Tired old council - forgotten it's our money they are spending.

You have sat too long for any good you have been doing lately... Depart, I say; and let us have done with you. In the name of God, go!
Address to the Rump Parliament (20 April 1653)

Anonymous said...

Here here!

But I'll give a more contemporary twist with the same sentiment:

"Go on now go, walk out the door
just turn around now
'cause your not welcome anymore"

Anonymous said...

My wife and I got back from holiday yesterday and I have noticed these wretched green banners all over the place, as 'Bob Briant' points out.

They're an eye sore, frankly, along with these totems in St. Helier.

Councillor Scully, do you know how much these travel banners/publicity cost?

Anonymous said...

Is it just me or does that pole look kinda creepy?

there are 2, but I can't find the other one to take the mick out of. No accounting for taste it seems.

Anonymous said...

Taste? Nadia, Sutton Council doesn't know the meaning of the word!

Can you lobby the phillistines for some decent public art please Councillor Scully?

Linders said...

Hi Paul,

Sorry to drift off-topic briefly, but if you could update the link to my website on your blogroll to my new address - - I would be very grateful. I have had to move the site due to hosting issues.

Many thanks

Iain Lindley

Anonymous said...

As our Trans Atlantic cousins took the time and trouble to wipe out nearly all the Native Americans, it would seem unlikely that too many will be heard complaining in LBS!

Names? If we adhere to the NI tradition of naming offspring after the first thing they behold how about:

"Cider Bottle"


"McDonalds Bag"

Anonymous said...

I think it looks like giant mutated evil asparagus....WHAT HAS THE COUNCIL UNLEASED UPON US!

where's the other one i haven't seen it?