Bloomin’ disgrace! MP slams council for lack of flowers

A FLASHBACK to flowers outside Hucknall Parish Church when the town competed in Britain in Bloom
A FLASHBACK to flowers outside Hucknall Parish Church when the town competed in Britain in Bloom
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HUCKNALL’s MP, Mark Spencer, has criticised Ashfield District Council for failing to brighten up the town with blooms over the summer.

Conservative Mr Spencer, whose constituency office is based in Hucknall, feels the town has been neglected by the Labour-run council when compared to the neighbouring Ashfield centres of Sutton and Kirkby.

The campaigning MP is now demanding answers and pushing for a planting scheme in the future that includes Hucknall.

“Once again Hucknall seems to have been at the bottom of the pile,” said Mr Spencer. “Other towns in Ashfield looked much improved with lots of flower and plant displays throughout but here in Hucknall, there was nothing to speak of.”

Mr Spencer says the town’s High Street should have been brightened by blooms over the summer with hanging baskets on lamposts and planted traffic islands in a bid to boost visitor numbers and shoppers.

He added: “Apparently money was allocated but it couldn’t be decided how best to spend it, so nothing got done.

“Well, I’ve had enough of Hucknall being the poor relative, it’s time the town was treated as an equal to Sutton and Kirkby.”

Mr Spencer was so disgruntled, along with some of his constituents, that he arranged a meeting on the High Street with council officers to make his case.

“They did acknowledge my point and said they had a plan of action for the season ahead, which includes planting bulbs now for spring,” said Mr Spencer. “But I want to make sure this is done and more besides.

“But the town’s district councillors should be more proactive in pushing for these improvements. If they are not prepared to do more they should move over and let someone else do the job.

“It shouldn’t need me to jump up and down to make things happen.”

But Hucknall’s Coun Chris Baron (Lab), a high-ranking member of Ashfield Council who was featured in a Dispatch article back in February calling for the town to compete again in the Britain In Bloom contest, said the situation was out of his hands.

“The rain this summer was atrocious and although we had hoped to add colour with blooms the weather was just not on our side,” he said.

“However, we have already planned to plant 20,000 daffodils and 16,000 crocuses at gateways to Hucknall for the spring ahead.

“We are very much in favour of flowering up the area and want to make the town centre look more respectable as it makes people feel better.

“All nine district councillors for Hucknall are working together to improve the town with floral displays as well as outdoor furniture and noticeboards to keep our residents informed.”