Controversial murals costing Brent taxpayers £14,400 will be installed this week

Artwork commissioned by Brent Council has been dubbed a waste of money

The first of two controversial murals that have cost taxpayers thousands of pounds will be put up in Willesden this week.

The eight-metre long artworks are part of Brent Council’s £14,400 Willesden Green Mural Project.

The first will be installed outside the Lewinson Centre in Willesden High Road and symbolises the power and magic of reading.

A second mural will be later installed near George Furness House in Grange Road.

The murals, designed by local artists and children, will direct people to the temporary council facilities between Willesden Green Library Centre closing and the cultural centre opening in 2014. Pupils from Donnington Primary, Newman Catholic College and Queens Park Secondary attended workshops to create the designs.

Businesses in Willesden High Road are angry that money is being spent on art and believe the project will encourage graffiti.

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Tony Antonio, chair of the Shopkeepers’ Association for Willesden, said: “People are disgusted by this, when they are cutting services for elderly and vulnerable people.”

He added: “Put it [the mural] in the library. Don’t splat the High Road with it; it should be on canvas.”

A council spokesman said it has communicated the projects to residents over the past two months.

“We’ve listened to what local people have told us and made some significant changes to the project plan as a result,” said the spokesman.