So the actual article is from The Sun (the newspaper, and not the bright warm orb that’s been missing for the best part of the Summer), my take on it is that the money would’ve been budgeted for anyway as part of their environmental policy £190,000 into £4.6 million is only about 5% – and nowhere does is say that £190,000 is the cost for just the bridges.

Gotta love the mob mentality round here


WASTEFUL council bosses have spent £190,000 building bridges over a new road — for MICE.

Environment chiefs in South Wales said the three walkways are designed to protect the area’s dormouse population.

They will allow the rodents to cross the £4.6million Church Village bypass between Pontypridd and Talbot Green.

The dormouse-friendly bridges have drawn a mixed reaction from locals, while the Taxpayers Alliance has blasted the bill as "unjustifiably large".

Spokeswoman Fiona McEvoy said: "Many taxpayers will think the council are taking the mickey, spending so much on a bridge for mice at a time when they’re supposed to be strapped for cash.

"They may have good intentions but this bill is unjustifiably large. In these straitened times they should’ve explored less expensive ways of protecting these creatures."

As dormice do not like open spaces and often move around in trees rather than open ground, the authority reckons the bridges will serve their needs perfectly.

The poles are made from wood with metal rails hung between them, and hanging from the rails are mesh cages through which the dormice travel.

Residents of the nearby town of Llantrisant had mixed views.

Nichola Thomas, 34, said: "There are more pressing issues that the council could be spending money on.

"Certain roads around there could be widened, street lighting is an issue and so are pot holes — not building bridges for mice.

"I find it absurd that they have spent such an obscene amount of cash on this bridge."

But Byron Bowden, 27, said "I think it’s great that the council are protecting the local wildlife — it’s something we are proud of here and something authorities are usually dismissive about."

A spokesman for Rhondda Cynon Taf Council defended the bridges, saying: "Three bridges have been erected for dormice to safely move from one area to the other, while new ponds have been dug for the relocation of newts and other amphibians.

"We put up the dormouse bridges, along with 60 dormouse boxes, to help get them from one side of the road to the other.

"The idea came as part of an ecological survey we did two and a half years ago before construction work on the bypass started."

Cllr Andrew Morgan said: "We recognise local wildlife and ecology remain protected as much as possible."