Swindon council apologises for error-strewn Covid key worker tribute

Swindon borough council has been criticised for botching a tribute to key workers during the Covid pandemic with a plaque littered with mistakes.

Images of the plaque have been widely shared on social media, showing random capitalisation, punctuation errors and spelling mistakes.

It also crucially dates the pandemic as “March 2019” – a year before it was recognised in the UK.

The plaque read: “This tree has been planted in appreciation of Our Key Workers and Volunteers by the borough. to honor Their Selflessness and Dedication given to the residents and the vulnerable During the Covid Pandemic March 2019.”

The council in Wiltshire, south-west England, has apologised and said it was unable to fix the plaque in time for its unveiling at a tree planting ceremony in Coate Water country park on the edge of Swindon attended by local dignitaries.

The tribute was intended to reflect the council’s appreciation of the efforts of key workers and volunteers during an unprecedented period of change. But instead it has provoked dismay.

One Swindon councillor posted an image of the plaque on Twitter, with the comment “very poorly executed”.

Residents said the council’s effort was sloppy and insulting.

In a statement, the leader of the council, David Renard, said: “I offer my sincerest apologies to all the key workers and volunteers that the wording on the plaque had errors on it.

“As soon as it was spotted prior to the event, a replacement was ordered but could not be made in time for the event and we did not want to postpone the dedication.

“We will be forever grateful for the role they played throughout the pandemic, which was why councillors unanimously agreed to create a lasting tribute to mark their service.”

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