Flower talk hushed up

THE issue of cutting back on the provision of flowers to outlying villages remains a contentious one within Craigavon Council.

Council met in committee recently to address the issue, however the ‘MAIL’ understands very little discussion was allowed to take place in the council chamber.

It’s believed the flowerbeds issue came back into the spotlight after the BBC followed up on a feature the ‘MAIL’ did on the lack of flowers in Waringstown.

The BBC contacted several councillors for comment, but they were advised against speaking to the media on the issue.

After the council meeting on July 18, council went into committee and the provision of flowers in the borough was to be discussed.

The ‘MAIL’ understands rather than facilitate a discussion councillors were told it would discussed at a later date when more information was available.

A council spokesperson said they were unable to talk to the ‘MAIL’ on the flowers issue as it had been discussed in committee.

When the ‘MAIL’ first broke the news that flowers would not be supplied to outlying villages council said they had to make considerable efficiency savings this year and deliberated long and hard as to how this was to be achieved.

“Consequently the decision was taken to remove flowerbeds and static displays from throughout the borough with the exception of town centres and periphery which will still be maintained,” said the spokesperson in March.

It’s hoped the proposal to make efficiency savings by stopping flowers to outlying villages and removing planters from town centres could save an estimated £50,000 a year.

Waringstown MLA Jo-Anne Dobson commented: “It’s understandable the people of Waringstown are annoyed. The village has had a proud tradition of floral displays.

“I also see that council has to find ways of making efficiency savings.

“I would be very supportive of it being reviewed next year.”