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Hanging baskets saved from the chop

PUBLISHED: 00:13 15 March 2004 | UPDATED: 17:40 24 February 2010

Hanging baskets threatened with the chop because of health and safety fears will bloom this summer – and there will be more than ever.

There was national outcry when Suffolk County Council officials warned last month that floral displays hanging from ancient lampposts in Bury St Edmunds could be dangerous.

Hanging baskets threatened with the chop because of health and safety fears will bloom this summer – and there will be more than ever.

There was national outcry when Suffolk County Council officials warned last month that floral displays hanging from ancient lampposts in Bury St Edmunds could be dangerous.

When the authority took over maintenance of lampposts, it announced some could crack under the strain of bearing hanging baskets, despite the fact that not one had failed in the town competition's 17-year history.

That raised concerns that there would be no baskets in Bury, last year's Anglia in Bloom regional winner of best large town, which could have ruined this year's display.

But following a meeting with Bury in Bloom committee members and the county council, plans have been drawn up to save the displays and ensure the continued success of the competition.

Any lampposts that do not make the grade will be replaced in key areas of the town, such as Honey Hill, Chequer Square, Crown Street, Sparhawk Street and St Mary's Square.

And there may be an increase in the number of hanging baskets as more streets are earmarked for hanging baskets.

On Mustow Street, and part of Eastgate Street, all the lampposts are new and there should be no problem with the baskets, said a council spokesman.

Bury In Bloom committee chairman Mike Ames said: "Bury in Bloom is not just about hanging baskets, it is all about getting the community to improve the environment together.

"The meeting proved positive and progressive. Bury will bloom this summer. This is great news."

Julian Swainson, the county's portfolio holder for sustainable environment, planning and transport, said: "The county council is very supportive of Bury in Bloom and we're happy to give approval to flower baskets being hung from lampposts, as we always have been.

"Our engineers are increasing the quantity and quality of lampposts in Bury town centre.

"Thanks to their work Bury in Bloom will be able to mount the biggest floral display ever."

The new lampposts will be so robust they will be able to hold more baskets than before.

Work on putting in the new posts will start soon and many of them will be ready in time for the competition.

nA New York Botanical Gardens worker has pledged 20 tiny, lightweight baskets to Bury in Bloom after reading about the floral problem on the internet.


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