Fringe Box



Council Says Floral Display Decision Still To Be Taken

Published on: 13 Sep, 2023
Updated on: 16 Sep, 2023

One of the GBC supplied hanging baskets outside the White House pub, by the town bridge.

By Martin Giles

Guildford Borough Council seems to have rowed back on a decision to have a moratorium on floral displays in the town.

See: Guildford’s Floral Displays Might Have to Be Cut to Save Money

In an email sent to councillors on Monday (September 11) it was stated: “This decision is to temporarily end the floral decoration of Guildford supplied by hanging baskets and troughs [sic] for the years 2024 and 2025.” It also said that the item was to be considered by Joint Executive Head: Environmental Services, believed to be a council officer.

But this afternoon a GBC spokesperson said: “We’re looking across all our services to identify where we can make savings. The findings will be reviewed at full council meetings in October this year and February 2024.

“We have previously stated that we have a number of difficult decisions to make and this may need to be one of them. No decisions have been made at this stage.”

Opposition leader Philip Brooker

But the leader of the opposition at GBC, Philip Brooker (Con, Worplesdon), criticised communication from those in charge. He said: “There is a continuing issue with openness and transparency with the current administration. There is no doubt that savings need to be made but until a detailed itemised account of current proposed spending is available, then it is impossible to decide which should be prioritised.

“Who is to say whether cancelling floral displays in this piecemeal manner trumps other potential savings?

“It is for this reason that the Conservative group abstained at the last full council meeting on the proposed financial recovery measures. Hopefully, we will have a comprehensive report for the next full council meeting.”

Cllr James Walsh

And in an email to his fellow councillors, seen by The Dragon NEWS the Labour Group leader at GBC James Walsh (Bellfields and Slyfield) writes about the decision to scrap the displays for two years: “This is a shame but emblematic of where we are.

“…it would be a shame to lose the colour and fragrance the flowers bring to the town centre. It’ll be another element of drabness to a town centre that’s been looking a little sad in recent years.”

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