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Pals put MPs in the duck house
A GROUP of neighbours living beside a pond have built a duck house as a protest over the MPs’ expenses scandal.
The floating wooden duck house was made by a team of people from Sutton Wick Lane, in Drayton, near Abingdon.
A sign attached to the railings beside the pond reads: “This was designed, constructed, painted and launched by hard-working taxpayers. Giving their labour free. No expenses, no fees.”
It also says the district council had nothing to do with the house being built on time and under the £40 budget.
Resident and former oil industry property manager Brian Eastoe, 76, has lived in the lane for 21 years.
He said: “It’s poking a gentle bit of fun at the MPs for what they did.
“There’s a more serious issue, where we also want to get people to ask their MP to put their expenses online each month.
“It’s disgusting what they did and I find that if you write an official letter to someone, all you’ll get is an official letter back, but if you ridicule them, it tends to get a bit more of a response.”
The neighbours spent one day building the duck house and another day painting it. They used water-proof plywood and felt for the roof.
Resident Sir Tom Shebbeare had the idea last summer after it was reported that Peter Viggers, the Conservative MP for Gosport, in Hampshire, had tried to claim the cost of a £1,645 duck house for his garden on Parliamentary expenses.
After the scandal broke, Sir Peter announced that he would not be running for re-election in next month’s General Election A prototype Drayton duck house was built last year but had to be reconstructed, because the base was too small.
Mr Eastoe added: “We were going to add a ramp, like Mr Viggers’s, but we thought health and safety workers might tell us off if a duck fell over.
“The house is partly to prove a point against the health and safety culture.”
Mr Eastoe, a keen wood carver, helped create a minaret for the structure and said it was “to promote multiculturalism”.
The pond is populated by four ducks, 14 swans and fish.
He added: “We’ve not had a duck go in the house yet, although they are keen to explore the outside.
“I just think with the election set to bore everyone stiff over the next month, this will provide some light relief.”
Mandy Biddle, who lives opposite the pond, said: “We have a very nice view of the duck house.
“It puts a smile on people’s faces.”
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