Weeds are growing out of control in Morecambe and may have cost us dearly in a competition to find the region’s most beautiful town.
This is the view of Debs Gourlay, chairman of Morecambe Bloomers, after she showed judges of the North West in Bloom contest around the resort.
Mrs Gourlay said unsightly weeds on streets and in our parks were “such a shame” after the hard work of local people who created lovely flower displays around the town.
She said this called into question Lancashire County Council’s decision to cut spending on weed killing due to budget issues and believes it could even hit our tourist trade.
“Whilst I fully appreciate there are budget cuts, for a coastal tourist town, is the weeding budget the right one to cut?” she said.
“The judges saw some superb community work going on such as (floral displays at) Bare Lane Station and work with Great Wood School kids growing food and plants that attract bees and butterflies. That was superb.
“But when we got to Happy Mount Park there were weeds either side of the railings at the entrance. It was such a shame.
“I’m sure we got minuses for the weeds, so it diminished the scoring for Morecambe for North West in Bloom, I’m sure.”
Mrs Gourlay also hit out at the state of roundabouts coming into Morecambe saying “that is the first impression of Morecambe visitors get”.
“I’ve also had comments about paths from Broadway with nettles on the path and kids getting stung.
“When weeds become dangerous and this is a tourist town and its the first thing that visitors see, that is their perception.
“It’s too late for the judging but my opinion would be it’s not the best cut to cut weeding 100%.”
Coun David Smith, Lancaster City Council cabinet member for environmental services, said: “Despite the difficult financial situation local government currently finds itself in, initiatives such as the Britain in Bloom competition encourages people to make improvements to where they live and helps generate pride in their town. Joining forces with Morecambe Town Council and local residents in such a way to improve the appearance of the town means that it can boast flying a green flag at Happy Mount Park and seeing the Shrimp roundabout, residents’ gardens and Morecambe train station looking fantastic.
“Whilst judges of the Britain in Bloom competition did express concern about weed growth in the area, this did not detract from the efforts of everyone involved.”
A spokesman for Morecambe Town Council said: “Morecambe Town Council is very concerned about the amount of weeds within the town, in both the public/visitor areas and residential areas.
“The town council understands Lancashire County Council are no longer funding the weed spraying of public highways.
“The town’s performance in North West in Bloom will probably be affected by the amount of weeds.
“However, this is a problem every day of the year and therefore the town council will continue to work with residents, community groups, Morecambe Bloomers and Lancaster City Council in partnership to tackle this problem with a view to developing a clear strategy going forward for reducing problem.”
Visit www.youtube.com/watch?v=2MySX0f9zWk&feature=youtu.be for video of the judging.