A BEMUSED Halstead resident claims the town council’s latest town plan publication is misleading because it includes an out-of-date photo of the River Colne.

Bill Seaman, of Cherry Tree Close, picked up a copy of Halstead Town Council’s Town Plan, which was published earlier this year.

The brochure is used to set out ideas for development in the community and highlight the action needed in the town.

But when Mr Seaman saw a photo of the River Colne in the town centre he was angered by the council’s decision to apparently gloss over the area’s current neglected appearance.

Instead it features a much more picturesque photo of the river with vibrant flowers.

He said: “On the third page is a beautiful picture of the River Colne looking towards Dickens restaurant.

“But where are the silt banks and all the weeds that are blocking the flow of the river that have now been there a few years, and where is that old pipe that goes across the river?

“Why not show the picture as it is now, which is an absolute disgrace? If it’s an eyesore, then do something about it.”

Bill confronted the council over the use of the image.

He was told that, although the image used hadn’t been edited to improve the appearance of the watercourse, an old photo of the River Colne had in fact been included.

A town council spokesman said: “The photos in the Town Plan represent the river as it used to be only a few years ago and as residents would like it to be.

“The resident on the phone accused the council of touching up the photo, which we did not do.

“There is a voluntary group negotiating with the Environment agency and the current owner of Mill House and the antiques centre to improve the look of the river, but the Environment Agency has categorically stated that it will not raise the level in the river because it increases the risk of flooding.”