A Westminster Council plan to spend £88,000 on the new "piazza" in front of Westminster Cathedral was criticised by a Labour councillor this week.
During a debate on the proposed expenditure, ClIr Richard May said: "Because of the present financial situation we have already made cuts in our social services budget which bear directly on the least welloff. It must be a matter of regret that we are now spending this money • on aesthetic and townscape improvement."
Because of redevelopment in Victoria Street, Westminster Cathedral will in future no longer he blocked from the view of passers-by. The open space in front of the Cathedral will be paved, and trees are to be planted in boxes.
ClIr John Wells defended the new square, saying that it would be a focal point for visitors and residents. "There can be no financial strictures on work of • this importance," he added.
ClIr Tony Prendergast, chairman of the Town Planning Committee, said that if the layout scheme did riot go ahead, the Cathedral would be fronted by no more than a muddy patch. • The expenditure was finally approved.