Vandals ‘do not care’ about town

PUBLISHED: 11:00 23 June 2015

Lynette Talbot and Bobby Stacey of Sidmouth In Bloom start to plant our the Toad of Toad Hall floral display in Manor Gardens. Ref shs 8681-24-15AW. Picture: Alex Walton

Lynette Talbot and Bobby Stacey of Sidmouth In Bloom start to plant our the Toad of Toad Hall floral display in Manor Gardens. Ref shs 8681-24-15AW. Picture: Alex Walton

Archant

Volunteers have criticised the ‘actions of the minority’ after two incidents of vandalism caused more than £200 of damage.

Sidmouth In Bloom's Toad of Toad Hall was pulled out of its boat and damaged by vandals.Sidmouth In Bloom's Toad of Toad Hall was pulled out of its boat and damaged by vandals.

The Sidmouth in Bloom figure of Toad of Toad Hall and the ‘Nessie’ Loch Ness Monster structures in Blackmore Gardens, were targeted on two separate occasions this week.

East Devon District Council (EDDC) gardeners discovered the toad on its side on Tuesday morning; most of its soil had been removed and bedding plants damaged.

Lynette Talbot, chairman of Sidmouth in Bloom asked residents to be vigilant.

“Whoever is doing this is doing something to a volunteer group,” she said.

Nessie in Blackmore Gardens was knocked over.Nessie in Blackmore Gardens was knocked over.

“We are working for the town and giving them somehing nice to increase the tourism. What these people are saying is they do not care.

“It is the minority that is causing the problem, but they have made other people’s lives a little difficult.”

The toad structure is one of three new features for this year’s South West in Bloom competition, costing the group £9,000.

Lynette said: “This is real money and that is why we are really concerned if people damage them; it cannot be repaired the same year.”

Sergeant Andy Squire said that the neighbourhood team has increased patrols in the area but would support the gardens being closed at night.

He said: “We can do our best to patrol but if they were locked it would give us extra power to arrest anyone found in them.”

An EDDC spokesman said: “We do not feel that a couple of incidences of vandalism warrant closing Blackmore Gardens to the public at night.

“However, we will continue to monitor the situation closely and will liaise with the police accordingly.

“The gardens are there for public enjoyment and it would be a shame if the antisocial actions of a minority were allowed to spoil the pleasure of Sidmouth’s residents.”

Anyone with information about the vandalism is asked to call the police on 101 using CR/041654/15


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