Belfast Telegraph

Are these the ugliest hanging baskets in Northern Ireland?

By Linda Stewart

Residents in east Belfast have complained about these dishevelled-looking displays on Castlereagh Street, which haven't been watered for weeks.

Dozens of hanging baskets on Castlereagh Street, Mountpottinger Link and the city centre have been left to wither away.

East Belfast man Roy Hull said that under the terms of a City Council tender, hanging baskets were supposed to have been placed on Castlereagh Street last summer but weren't.

After he complained to the council about the no-show, hanging baskets were put up this summer, but he says they have been left to dry out.

"They weren't watered there for a few weeks and they all died. We're talking dozens and dozens of hanging baskets, in the city centre as well," he said.

"Belfast is a tourist attraction - but tourists don't want to see dead hanging baskets about the place."

Mr Hull said that after he complained staff from Belfast City Council phoned him to say the baskets would be removed as soon as possible.

"It's ridiculous that they were allowed to get in that state. They are just not doing their job, it's as simple as that. The baskets look absolutely disgusting," he said.

Mr Hull says Castlereagh Street and Mountpottinger are both communities that could do with a bit of a fillip.

"Because both the communities have had their share of strife and trouble over the years, they could do with a bit of brightness when you're walking down the street," he said.

"But if you walk down either road you get faced with these depressing, disgusting looking things hanging from the lampposts, and that is what the council have us looking at.

"The Lord Mayor has been onto them, the MP Gavin Robinson has been onto them, and still there they are hanging up there. It's a 40-odd grand contract for those hanging baskets.

"In among the dead material there is maybe the odd flower that has managed to survive. It's the same in Mountpottinger, the same in the city centre, they're dying because of lack of water."

A spokesman for Belfast City Council said it looked after around 600 hanging baskets across the city.

"The season for the hanging baskets is from June to the end of September. This is in line with what we and other councils practise in relation to annual floral displays in our towns and cities," he said. "The plants used are annual plants and will naturally die at this time of year.

"The removal process gets under way this week.

"The baskets need some time to dry out before they are removed due to the weight involved. This allows the baskets to be removed safely. Once the baskets are removed they will be cleaned and stored for use next season.

"The cost of the maintenance and removal of hanging baskets is less than £30,000."

  • Have you seen an uglier hanging basket? Send to digital.editorial@belfasttelegraph.

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