GLASGOW will continue to spend £10,000 a year removing traffic cones from the Duke Of Wellington statue, say council bosses.

The decision comes despite the council backing down over a plan to double the size of the plinth in an attempt to stop people putting the cones on the statue in Royal Exchange Square.

News of the planned £65,000 project emerged on Monday afternoon, and immediately brought protests from thousands of people.

However, as reported in later editions of yesterday's Evening Times, city bosses caved in less than 12 hours after a massive "Save The Cone" internet campaign began.

In the planning application, the council claimed doubling the plinth height would save the "£10,000 cost of removing the cone 100 times a year".

But after being forced to ditch the attempt to stop the cone capers, the council said the city would continue to spend thousands of pounds of taxpayers' cash on taking the cone down. A spokesman said: "Although many people like to see the cone, it is a risk. We will continue to remove it."

The Evening Times understands discussions are under way among senior council figures over how best to protect the statue.

Thousands of people had rushed to the defence of leaving any cones on the statue and urging the council to spend the £65,000 cost of protecting it on more important causes.

More than 65,000 campaigners joined a protest page on internet site Facebook against the plans.

And an online petition - dubbed Save Wellington's Cone! Don't Raise The Plinth! - has already collected 11,000 signatures.

But others raised concerns about the £100 cost each time the cone has to be removed from the A-listed monument, which was erected in 1844 in honour of the man who commanded the allied armies that defeated Napoleon at the Battle Of Waterloo in 1815 and who was later twice Prime Minister.

One Twitter user wrote: "People power has forced the council to do a U-turn, but what about the incredible £100 cost of taking it down?"

It is understood a cherry picker truck is used by council staff each time the cone is removed.

Glasgow City Council has admitted the wording of the report accompanying the application for the proposed plinth was "appalling" and city leader Gordon Matheson demanded a stop to the plans.

The application stated: "For more than 30 years the Wellington monument has been defaced by traffic cones, which regularly appear on the head of the horse or rider (and sometimes both) after the revelries of the weekend.

"Ironically, this unfortunate impression of the city has been supported by former Lord Provosts and chief executive and even adopted occasionally by the city marketing bureau."