Anger as more flowerbeds in Cleethorpes are dug up to save cash
MORE flowerbeds in Cleethorpes have been dug up as the council battles to save money.
North East Lincolnshire Council has removed the award-winning displays at Kingsway Kiosk – two weeks after planting hundreds of bulbs there – and grassed over the displays at Ross Castle.
The move has further angered residents, businesses and Cleethorpes In Bloom members, who say they simply don't know how they will explain the disappearance to 500 gardening-lovers when they arrive for the Britain In Bloom Awards in October.
Diggers ploughed up the beds at Ross Castle on Thursday, which were grassed over and replaced with trees and the Kingsway Kiosk beds have been covered with soil and will be replaced with sustainable plants.
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Owner of Kingsway Kiosk Andy McCluskey said: "I find it totally unbelievable that the Kingsway Kiosk beds had only been planted a couple of weeks ago.
"They say they want to save and reduce wastage and yet they do this? Why not wait until after they had bloomed so we could have at least had some enjoyment from them?"
It comes just days after NELC planted new "sustainable" plants at Kingsway gardens in place of the bright orange, yellow and red flowers to cut maintenance costs – typically the beds cost £8,000 a year to maintain whereas the new displays will cost £1,000.
The council confirmed the bulbs planted at the kiosk beds cost less than £200.
Cleethorpes In Bloom is annoyed the decision to dig up the beds was taken so quickly and it was not given enough time to find alternative funding for the beds from local businesses.
In Bloom chairman Bob Callison said: "People are coming to see why we are Britain In Bloom winners. They will want to know what makes us so special and this does not reflect that. People won't know what to think.
"We are disappointed they went ahead with this so quickly. I would have liked some time to seek sponsorship from businesses and I am sure I could have found it."
Grant Street resident Glyn Fletcher described the move as "disgusting". He said: "We live on the seafront and walk past them every day. I know the council has to make savings, but this seems so silly and short sighted."
No one at the council was available for comment yesterday, but in a previous article in the Telegraph Councillor Mick Burnett said: "The new displays will keep Cleethorpes looking as pleasant and inviting as it has always been. Sustainable planting is actively encouraged by Britain In Bloom and is consistent with its scoring criteria."