Upset...Gore resident Ian Cupit believes the Gore District Council has vandalised Gore’s streets by placing planter boxes throughout the town. PHOTO:SANDY EGGLESTON

A Gore resident is accusing the district council of vandalism.

In the past week the planter pots placed in Gore streets as part of the Streets Alive project trials have been targeted by people who have tipped the pots over and spread soil and plants on the street.

In a press release last Friday, Gore Mayor Tracy Hicks condemned the vandalism that had taken place and said people should give the trials a chance.

“We know change can be challenging, but we need to remember these are trials,” Mr Hicks said.

“If they [the initiatives] don’t work, they won’t stay.”

However, resident Ian Cupit said if the planters had not been placed on the streets, the vandalism would not have happened.

“Whose at fault here?

“The true vandals are the council.”

On Monday, he counted how many people had commented about the trials on the council’s social media and found about 600 posts.

“Only a small few have said they like them’.”

The planters were dangerous, he said.

“When you drive past you are looking at these flower pots and you don’t pay attention to the road.”

The council was not listening to ratepayers and given the negative response to the Streets Alive trials so far, it should call a public meeting, Mr Cupit said.

Council roading asset manager Peter Standring said staff had received a lot of support from people who had been disappointed and disgusted to see the vandalism on Gore’s streets.

“While people may not agree with the planters, they don’t condone the vandalism,” Mr Standring said.

“Unfortunately, those supportive of the trials are also not the ones you will see on social media for obvious reasons,” he said.

The trials were a continuation of the council’s ongoing community engagement, which started last year with community workshops.

“We will continue to talk with residents and have our fifth pop-up session scheduled for April 7.

“We are putting out a survey just after Easter to gauge public awareness and sentiment, and will follow this with another survey at the end of the trials.”

While the main role of the concrete planters was to help define where a permanent kerb protrusion could go, their presence helped slow down traffic and offered protection to the public using the crossings, Mr Standring said.

Drivers were encouraged to slow down and be more aware of where they were driving.

“Change is not easy at the best of times, and if someone drives the same route day after day change can be even harder to accept.”