Bradley Stoke aiming to win Britain in Bloom within five years

Great Stoke Roundabout, Bradley Stoke.

Town Councillors keen to see Bradley Stoke enter the Britain in Bloom competition have set aside a budget £18,000 to drive the project forward.

The move follows the publication of a reader letter in The Journal in April 2011, in which a resident complained of the lack of flowers around Bradley Stoke and called on the community to get together to brighten the town up.

The Town Council has now responded by transferring £10,000 previously earmarked for ’roundabout enhancement’ to a new ‘Britain in Bloom’ budget and supplementing it with £8,000 transferred from the £10,000 previously reserved for ‘allotment provision’.

In a discussion on the matter at the September Full Council meeting, former Mayor Cllr Robert Jones  said:

“We have talked a lot about this in the past but have come up against a brick wall when we’ve asked South Gloucestershire Council to help.”

“Lots of other parish/town Councils have managed to do something. We should be looking to enter [the competition] and win our category within five years.”

Having assigned the budget, plans are now being made to get the project off the ground in the New Year. Last week’s meeting of the Council’s Planning Committee unanimously agreed to a suggestion from Cllr Jones that “an open public meeting be arranged for February 2013 to gauge support for the Britain in Bloom competition”.

Cllr Jones and Cllr Elaine Hardwick will take the lead roles in organising Bradley Stoke’s entry into the competition.

Councillors say they hope that the project will eventually become self-financing and Cllr Hardwick has suggested that the many companies based at the Aztec West Business Park could be approached for sponsorship.

Cllr Hardwick also suggested that local gardening enthusiasts might be invited to take on plots on roundabouts and verges, although Cllr Keith Cranney warned that a careful risk assessment would have to be undertaken before this could be allowed.

Bradley Stoke has a stiff task ahead if it wishes to compete with neighbouring town of Thornbury, which was this year crowned  ‘Champion of Champions’ by the Royal Horticultural Society.

Thornbury began with a Hanging Basket Scheme as long ago as 1991 and in recent years the town has won four consecutive South West in Bloom gold medals and two national Britain in Bloom awards.

Floral display outside Parky's Chippy in Thornbury.

Photo: Floral display outside Parky’s Chippy in Thornbury. [©South Glos Post]

Roundabouts’ appearance has been an issue for years

Residents have been asking for years for the appearance of the many roundabouts in Bradley Stoke to be “brightened up”, a fact acknowledged by the Town Council as long ago as 2004 when its Annual Report said the Mayor and Councillors were “saddened by the disappointing appearance of Patchway Brook Roundabout [near Aldi] – the first roundabout that you see on entering Bradley Stoke”.

Earlier this year, the Town Council announced that a local contractor had volunteered to install floral displays on Patchway Brook Roundabout but nothing appeared over the summer and a meeting in August was told that the contractor has only got as far as “getting the grass up to a good standard”.

Allotment provision: Private enterprise comes to Council’s rescue

Bradley Stoke Town Council has been looking for potential allotment land of its own since it received a petition from a group of local electors in 2008, which it was obliged to consider under the Small Holdings and Allotments Act 1908.

A potential solution to the problem has now arisen with the opening of a commercially-run allotment site at Hortham Farm in Almondsbury, where 30 new plots were released in March.

The Town Council recently agreed to offer a refund of up to £40 to any Bradley Stoke resident who pays for a recognised allotment plot within a five mile radius of Bradley Stoke and expenditure records show that £277 has been paid out to nine claimants in November alone.

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  1. I think pot-holes fall under the remit of SGC Highways Dept., not BSTC.

    I see the stock photo for this piece is Rabbit Roundabout – would that be a good place to plant expensive flowers? Are the wabb…sorry, rabbits even there, still?

  2. Sadly the rabbits mysteriously disappeared after the Rabbit Roundabout article appeared in the local press. Shame as they were much better to look at rather than some costly plants and huge asset to the community as they created such debate and interest and they cost us nothing! It was also great place for recycling your vegetable waste. My guess is they were forcibly removed somehow because the media attention may have become an embarrassment or was percived as as HS&E hazard, or both. It was not me! But someone knows what really happened.

  3. Does this mean that the plans to provide land for allotments is dead?

    A previous town council tried to get local firms to sponsor the enhancement of our roundabouts and when that failed spent money on two of them. Unfortunately this only lasted 2 years because of the high costs of doing so.

    Can I suggest (as many others do on this site), that the council don’t waste money on these roundabouts, but instead make some proper youth provision within the town.

  4. To make the roundabouts look other than a roundabout needs long term commitment from the council, to set to a plan and see it through.
    The Allotments great idea, they seem to work elsewhere, but it needs long term commitment from the council, to stick to the plan and see it through.
    To provide Youth services needs a long term plan, they don’t just happen and need council investment, in terms of time and, may be, money to ensure it is seen through.
    I’m sorry there is pattern here, but it is probably me.

  5. The date of the Britain in Bloom public public meeting has now been agreed.

    From the draft minutes of the December BSTC Planning Committee meeting:

    “Councillor Rob Jones informed the meeting that a Public Open Meeting, to discuss suggestions for the town’s potential entry into the competition, has been arranged for Tuesday 19th February 2013 commencing at 7.30pm in the Oak Hall, Jubilee Centre. An article will also be written by Councillor Jones for the forthcoming BSTC newsletter to publicise the meeting.”

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