Caerphilly In Bloom under threat over lamp-post safety fears


Councillors Huw Jackson, Phil Bevan and James Fussell at a nursery in the Vale of Glamorgan where plants for Caerphilly In Bloom are grown

Town councillors are calling on the county council chiefs to act urgently to save the popular Caerphilly in Bloom floral display after an alert was sounded over the safety of lamp-posts.

Caerphilly council has told the town councillors that no hanging baskets of flowers were to be placed on many of the lighting columns in the town centre.    

They found one lighting column that supports the hanging baskets was defective.  Due to health and safety concerns, flower baskets cannot be hung until all potentially affected columns have been fully inspected.

New Mayor Mike Prew said: “Caerphilly Town Council has bought 77 (8 more than previous years) hanging baskets to decorate the town centre for the whole of the summer months.

“They are due to be delivered this Friday and contractors have been hired to put up the displays.  Safety is paramount, of course, but the county must do all it can to speed up the process of inspection,” added Mike, who represents the Tonyfelin ward for Plaid Cymru.

Outgoing Mayor Simon Morgan (Plaid Cymru Watford Ward) said: “The flower display is a major feature in attracting visitors as well as residents into the town centre.

“In addition, we have entered Caerphilly into the Wales in Bloom competition, so this was the last news we wanted to hear.  I understand that many of the flag pennants hanging from lampposts will also be removed.  Thus at a time when we are preparing for the summer season we have been dealt a hammer blow.” 

Councillor Huw Jackson (Plaid Cymru Twyn Ward) added: “A lot of time and effort and money has gone into this after the county council suddenly pulled its support for the display at the end of last year.

“If they are as serious as us about making Caerphilly an attractive vibrant place to visit they have to show some action and get these inspections done!”

The Plaid Cymru-led council increased spending on the display this year from £8,800 to £11,150 with an extra six baskets due to be placed around the bus and railway station to improve first impressions for travellers and visitors. Three tiered troughs were also due to be reinstated outside the Twyn Community Centre.

In 2010 Caerphilly won the silver in the Wales in Bloom competition.

Councillors Huw Jackson, Phil Bevan and James Fussell are pictured at a nursery in the Vale of Glamorgan, where plants are grown for Caerphilly In Bloom.