Award-winning park suffers funding cuts

Latest news from the Suffolk Free Press,, @sfpsudbury on Twitter
Latest news from the Suffolk Free Press,, @sfpsudbury on Twitter

An award-winning park in Sudbury is set to trial new flowers next year as part of a council’s effort to save £3,000.

Belle Vue Park, which was singled out for praise in this year’s Anglia in Bloom competition, boasts colourful flower beds throughout the summer.

But there are worries that the vibrant displays could be in jeopardy after Babergh District Council withdrew £3,000 in funding for flower beds.

Nick Irwin, chairman of Sudbury in Bloom, said he was gobsmacked at the decision.

“It is a jewel in the local crown,” he said. “It seems to be almost spiteful to worry about such a small amount.

“It’s penny pinching considering the amount of pleasure Belle Vue Park brings.”

The issue was discussed by Sudbury Town Council’s leisure and environment committee meeting, where councillors backed the district council’s recommendation to switch to perennial plants which have a longer lifespan.

Sudbury Town Council clerk Jacqui Howells said: “We will trial it for a year to see how the perennial planting works and people might be pleasantly surprised.

“If we are unhappy, we can relook at it again next year.”

Town council deputy mayor Jack Owen said he was disappointed to see the funding withdrawn.

“I would have thought there were lots of other things they could have saved money on,” he said.

“It is just disappointing that they pick on something so trivial.”

Chris Fry, head of environment at Babergh District Council, said the authority had to make savings.

He said: “We have started talks with the town council to explore either alternative funders for this service or other less expensive options for planting, such as shrubs instead of bedding plants.”