Eyesore Ottery factory blighted Ottery in Bloom bid.

PUBLISHED: 15:01 29 October 2010

P0278-14-10AW Otter Mill, Switchgear. Pic by Alex Walton

P0278-14-10AW Otter Mill, Switchgear. Pic by Alex Walton

Archant

OTTERY’S top notch community spirit was “badly” let down by the town’s eyesore factory site, judges in a top regional competition have revealed.

OTTERY’S top notch community spirit was “badly” let down by the town’s eyesore factory site, judges in a top regional competition have revealed.

South West in Bloom experts lauded plucky volunteers and youngsters for their floral exploits, but wished they could ‘shut their eyes’ when passing the derelict premises.

Judges also bemoaned district council cash cuts to the town’s horticultural displays and bench vandals, but said enthusiastic Ottery in Bloom Committee members had “done a remarkable job” on a shoe-string budget.

The comments were released this week after Ottery achieved a Silver award in the contest last month.

“The industrial premises near the river continue to let this area of the route down badly…the judges are unable to ‘close their eyes’ to a feature along the route!,” read the experts’ report, which added: “It is disappointing that East Devon District Council is unable to continue funding displays when they clearly add a ‘feel good factor’ to the town.”

Comments point to increased community and business involvement, and displays in schools and conservation areas as a way for Ottery to improve.

Judges said the town has potential and praised Girl Guides and volunteers’ involvement. Cadhay, Recycling In Ottery (RIO) and the Tumbling Weir were singled out as impressive assets.

Ottery’s Big Clean Up event earlier this year “demonstrated real community pride,” according to judges.

Ottery In Bloom chairman Sarah Clarke said the comments were “constructive”.

“They have patted us on the back, but it is a shame about a couple of issues,” she said, “there’s lots of scope for improvement. We need an awful lot more help, people involved are doing the maximum they can.

“We need people to come on board and take on little projects of their own. All these pieces come together to make one big jigsaw- and that’s how the competition works.

“With cuts there will be less and less money, volunteers are the only way forward.”


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