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Budget probe exposes huge bill for flowers

(August 03, 2010)
VISION for Warminster's investigation into the finances at the Town Council has revealed a huge sum spent on flowers.
When we were councillors the display of hanging baskets used to be basketsprovided locally (from the nursery at Corton) and was watered by voluntary efforts.
But today's more professionalised world the costs have increased beyond our wildest dreams.
The bills show that in 2009 the town council paid English Landscapes 7,800 pounds for August and September and the same amount for June and July - making a total of 15,600 pounds.
In addition to this the council paid out 5,555 pounds to Ringway, the county council's favourite operator, to erect 14 hanging basket brackets.
This saw the total spent on the hanging baskets leap to more than 21,000 pounds. FAR TOO MUCH
''There are around 40 groups of baskets each with two baskets of flower - roughly costing 250 pounds a basket then,'' said Steve Dancey.
''Only those who have spent their lives working for councils, colleges, schools or national charities with oodles of cash slopping around would even consider forking out so much public money.
''The public deserves far better value for money and quite frankly a better display than the dull ones we have.
''The baskets outside the Old Bell, which are privately funded are a delight and I'm sure they cost less than 50 quid a throw.
''I'm also sure our traders would like to see any money the council has basket2protecting free parking rather than being squandered on flowers.
''I'm in no doubt that many civic minded traders, some of whom have been running businesses here for more than 50 years, would help out with the watering.''

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