Residents are furious about the hanging basket rule

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Residents in a market town known for its award-winning floral displays have been instructed to either complete a £165 safety course or hire a contractor to hang baskets on streetlights, due to new council regulations.

Chatteris in Bloom members, who have achieved gold at Britain in Bloom and Anglia in Bloom, are now facing these requirements imposed by Cambridgeshire County Council this year.

Sue Unwin, the group president at 64, expressed concerns that “bureaucracy was going to kill community spirit,” noting that volunteers already invest significant personal time and money into the floral arrangements.

The council justified these regulations by citing safety concerns related to the streetlights being connected to the power grid.

Residents are furious about the hanging basket rule
Residents are furious about the hanging basket rule

The group’s acclaimed displays typically adorn 20 lampposts each May with the assistance of a local farmer and a telehandler, just before judging in July.

According to the county council, the new safety course will last a day, and if the group has a qualified member, they can hang the baskets once the council approves their application.

Mrs. Unwin lamented, “It has become impossible with all this bureaucracy and red tape. There’s some jobsworth in the county council who made this decision… We’ve been doing this for over 18 years. None of us have that capability or the money – we already give enough of our time.”

“We adhere to all the rules correctly, but this excessive bureaucracy is dampening community morale because we’re becoming increasingly frustrated with it.”We work hard to beautify our town. Why can’t they leave us alone to get on with it?” she added.

Maggie Manders, 76, from Chatteris, emphasized the importance of the hanging baskets to the displays.

“You can’t simply enjoy the flowers alone; the hanging baskets truly complement the scene… it’s like having fish without the chips,” she elaborated. “It would mean the world to us if they allowed us to continue. We adore Chatteris in Bloom; please grant us this.”

A spokesperson from Cambridgeshire County Council commented, “It’s wonderful to see the inventive ways communities across the county utilize streetlights for festive displays.

“Because streetlights are directly connected to the local power grid, it’s important for everyone’s safety that any group wanting to hang items from a streetlight contacts the council to ensure they’ve completed essential independent safety training.” “We eagerly await hearing from Chatteris in Bloom.”

 

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