PLANS to light up the Magic Roundabout with a 40ft Christmas tree have been criticised by a Labour councillor.

On Monday the Adver revealed Swindon’s Conservative council leader Rod Bluh’s ambitious plans to put a Christmas tree in the middle of the famous roundabout.

This was in response to comments by Swindon taxi drivers that visitors to Swindon often wanted to see the Magic Roundabout but usually found it underwhelming.

But Coun Derique Montaut, Labour’s transport spokesman, said the plan would be hazardous to motorists and a waste of money.

Coun Bluh said he was acting more like Scrooge.

Coun Montaut said: “I have been saying for years that something more needs to be done with the Magic Roundabout – it is a landmark for Swindon but people are disappointed when they see it.

“But this is not the right way to do it – a Christmas tree could be a danger to drivers. If the Tories do manage to put it up it’ll be the only piece of cheer we’ll get from them this year.”

Coun Montaut believes there are a number of other initiatives which would be more suitable.

He said: “I have suggested some form of tower, or maybe a statue. Considering it is so close to the football club we could have something representing great players from the past – I think Don Rogers kicking a football would be a good symbol for the town.

“Personally I would like to see a statue of the Tories being kicked out of central ward.”

He also believes that the council should concentrate on putting money where it is really needed.

He said: “I would like to know where they are going to find the money for this tree, when that money could be used much better in investing in central ward.”

Coun Bluh responded to the criticisms by saying: “Is Coun Montaut auditioning for the part of Scrooge?

“This is a way of bringing a little Christmas cheer at a time when it is sorely needed.

“This is about first of all listening to the taxi drivers, in their role as ambassadors, and about doing something that could improve the public perception of a Swindon landmark.

“As for kicking out the Conservatives – it is this administration that is driving the positive changes happening in Swindon after years of Labour talking instead of delivering.”