GENERALLY speaking, I tend not to revisit earlier columns in the face of comment or criticism from either readers of this newspaper or website or even if there is some kind of official response.

But on the subject of the ‘iconic’ golden gates outside of Warrington Town Hall, I’m going to make an exception.

It’s true to say the cost of the project has somewhat divided opinion.

In my column, I posed the question of whether the cost of restoring the gates was justified in the current economic climate because £526,000 is an awful lot of money to be spending on a set of gates.

I also asked where that money came from and could it have been better utilised elsewhere?

Commenting on Aran Dhillon’s original story on the Guardian’s website, Keno wrote: “An iconic symbol to whom? I wished you would have spent the money on public service, roads and footpaths. There’s so much more that was more deserving.”

As a counterpoint, reader Borisisawire said: “You can always put a cost on heritage but its value is a lot more. Worth every penny.”

But by far the most interesting response came from Warrington Council in the form of chief executive Steven Broomhead who was so exercised by the questions I posed he wrote to the Guardian.

According to Mr Broomhead, the gates are an important element of the heritage of our town, are symbolic and ‘for some they even have spiritual meaning’.

Wow, spiritual meaning. Really?

Now I think the gates look very nice but I’ve yet to see them as a focal point for a prayer meeting or a transcendental meditation session. I’ll take special care to look out for members of the Church of the Golden Gates speaking in tongues next time I drive up Sankey Street.

Mr Broomhead does concede the cost of £500,000 (£526,000 according to Aran Dhillon’s report but what’s a mere £26,000 between friends?) has come from the council’s capital programme and says this has been spread over a 25-year period, giving a true cost of £1,600 per year.

That needs some explanation I think. Have the contractors agreed to only be paid £1,600 a year? I suspect that’s not the case so what’s the maths behind that figure?

Mr Broomhead signs off his letter thus: “The phrase ‘knowing the cost of everything but knowing the value of nothing’ is very apt regarding refurbishment of heritage buildings and artefacts as the examples of refurbishment of Westminster Palace and Manchester Town Hall also show.”

Stretching a point, I think, to compare Warrington’s gates with the Palace of Westminster but I suppose we are all entitled to our opinion.

The ‘spiritual connection’ thing got me thinking. When have the people of Warrington felt they had such a connection with one of the town’s institutions that they took to the streets to do something about it?

The campaign to save the town’s libraries came to mind. All across Warrington people felt so moved by what they saw as the disintegration of a beloved institution that the rallied round, joined friends groups and battled to save their libraries.

That, in my opinion, is a true spiritual connection.

And maybe people would have rallied round to save the golden gates in the same way.

Or maybe, as has happened with the ancient buildings in Rome, business could have stepped in and contributed to the restoration project.

And let’s not forget the £664,000 for road resurfacing and a couple of stone cannonballs spent over the road.

So I may well know the cost of everything and the value of nothing but my original question still stands. Have we had value for money and could it have been better spent elsewhere and could the money have been raised elsewhere?