Flowers budget is kept safe

PUBLISHED: 12:13 22 February 2008 | UPDATED: 10:25 17 June 2010

THERE will be no pruning of an £11,242 floral budget by East Devon District Council. Scrutiny committee members unanimously backed Britain in Bloom, despite a StreetScene report which said the council could save the money if support was withdrawn.

THERE will be no pruning of an £11,242 floral budget by East Devon District Council.

Scrutiny committee members unanimously backed Britain in Bloom, despite a StreetScene report which said the council could save the money if support was withdrawn.

The committee agreed the amount was a small proportion of the parks and gardens budget and support for the contest ticked all the right boxes to improve the environment and quality of life.

Sidmouth in Bloom was represented by its president Joy Seward, and secretary Caroline Carroll.

Mrs Seward told the committee EDDC's small financial outlay gave a huge amount back to the community in terms of local pride and increased visitors.

EDDC has supported the bloom campaigns for more than 30 years. Sidmouth first became involved in 1971, winning the Best Small Town in the British Isles award in 1975, and then the Entente Florale Cup for best town in Europe.

East Devon has consistently been a top achiever in the Britain in Bloom awards, with outstanding results last year.

Councillor Roger Giles said: "Members agree that the benefits to the district overall far outweigh the financial contribution made by the council."

He said work undertaken by volunteers was admired and appreciated and continued support of the scheme would "help restore a sense of pride for all residents of East Devon about their district".

Mrs Seward spoke of her committee's work with children in the community, who design and plant floral displays at Connaught Gardens.

She said: "EDDC does not put money into tourism in the area and this is one way in which it can help to support tourism.

"This year we have purchased 10 new water container troughs for around the car park.

"These cost over £100 each and it would be wonderful if anyone would like to sponsor the planting of one, which would cost around £20 each.

"Last year local businesses helped sponsor the marine feature, which was a great help, but, if we are to keep this going, we have to raise the money, so any help anyone can give us will be appreciated so much.

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