No consultation over flower bed costcutting measures

Council costcutting measures have left several flower beds in Newton Stewart without colour this season.

Dumfries and Galloway Council said the beds at Albert Street Gardens and King Street (opposite the fire station) would not be planted in a bid to save cash.

A letter sent to Cree Valley Community Council on March 18 detailed the plans but at the council’s meeting on Monday, members were outraged to learn that the Albert Street bed had already been grassed over instead of being left for a community group to take on.

Council member Clifford Smithers said: “This letter was dated March 18 and we only meet once a month. What chance have we had to respond to that letter and suggest an alternative? None. Now we’re hearing it’s been grassed. Well that’s not good enough.”

Elected member Alistair Geddes agreed and added: “This is an appalling state of affairs. No opportunity has been given to comment on this across the region and there has been, as usual, a total lack of communication between DG First and communities.

“It would be nice if all community councils could contact their area committees and ask for help transferring responsibility for the flower beds to them.”

Council member David Inglis said: “It does appear we’re more and more reliant on ourselves in this town.”