COUNCIL chiefs have come under criticism after splashing almost £50,000 on a fountain, which it is alleged has not worked properly since its unveiling two years ago.

The Pontypool Park fountain, featuring an iconic sleeping dragon, has hardly been flowing since an unveiling ceremony in June 2012, according to residents.

They said it had become a dumping ground with rubbish and even a trolley discarded in it.

Torfaen council last Tuesday acknowledged the water feature had only worked “intermittently”, saying litter and debris had caused the pump to malfunction.

Fred Wildgust, 54, of Churchwood, Pontypool, said: “It is green.

“It is appalling to look at and we have spent £50,000 on that.”

His wife, the Pontypool Museum curator Debra Wildgust, helped to find a design for the Italian Gardens’ fountain which was restored in 2012.

The restoration cost more than £48,000, including funding from the Heritage Lottery.

She said: “A lot of local people have put a lot of work and research into it. It was purely voluntary.

“It is a lovely thing to have done. We’re a little bit upset that’s not working after all that effort.”

Torfaen council said the restoration was made possible thanks to external funding from the European Regional Development Fund, the Targeted Match Fund and the Heritage Lottery Fund at a total cost of £48,545.

A spokesman said: “Unfortunately since the fountain was restored it has only worked intermittently due to litter and other debris causing the pump to malfunction.

“We have tried on a number of occasions to correct the problem, however, this has only had temporary results.

“We have now taken advice from a specialist company and we are in the process of installing a new pump and an enclosure to filter out any debris which should allow the fountain to function normally.”