Felixstowe: Seafront garden flowers cut as budgets pruned

A TOWN branded as the Garden Resort of the East Coast is set to lose its flowers.

As council chiefs prune their budgets, so Felixstowe will lose its seafront bedding plants and its 3D floral display to the cut-backs – two of the main attractions which bring people to the seaside town.

Since the first display of dolphins leaping from a sea of blue flowers appeared 15 years ago, the floral sculpture has got more ambitious each year and been greatly anticipated by residents and visitors of all ages.

The town’s gardens team celebrated the resort’s relationship with the sea in displays such as the sea serpent which spat water unexpectedly at people, its German twinning relationships, its port, and its seaplanes and flying boats history.

Felixstowe Town Council, which contributes to the cost of the 3D bed along with Suffolk Coastal and sponsors, was told it was likely to cost up to �5,000 this year to design and plant, and even if some metalwork from past years was re-used it would still cost more than �3,000.

Town clerk Caroline Barrett said due to the budget constraints of both councils, there was no funding available for it.

Chris Slemmings, chairman of the general purposes committee, said: “The bed will still be planted but not with a 3D design and will still be colourful for the summer.

Most Read

“Cutbacks are taking place. We are not stopping doing things, but just have to do them in a different way.”

From next year though other beds on the seafront and in the town will not be planted with spring and summer bedding and will be replaced with shrubs, grass and perennial flowers to help save money.

Councillor Doreen Savage said she believed it would not affect the main seafront gardens, but councillor Andy Smith said it was “extremely uncertain” and he understood only the Spa Gardens, set for a �2m lottery-backed makeover, were safe.

Suffolk Coastal cabinet member Mary Neale said it had been a “difficult decision” but will deliver the service in a cost-effective manner without shunting the services onto parish and town councils.

“We appreciate that some councils will feel this will have a detrimental effect on their particular area, however replacement planting will be colourful, low maintenance and sustainable,” she said.

? Should the council cuts flowers from its budgets? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk