Councils advised on Britain in Bloom bids

Competition entry on Westminster's behalf shows way forward for cash-strapped authorities.

Local authorities are being encouraged to involve their contractors to help them continue to take part in future "in Bloom" competitions.

The call comes after Westminster City Council scooped the top prize in this year's London in Bloom despite not entering itself due to budget pressures. Its contractor Continental Landscapes entered on the council's behalf.

As well as the 2011 borough of the year award, Westminster won its city category and took eight gold medals and one silver-gilt.

London in Bloom managing trustee Peter Holman maintained that it could only benefit contractors. "It is an excellent opportunity for boroughs to continue to participate but also for contractors to make people aware of what they are doing. Everyone wins," he added.

"I would highly recommend councils that are unsure whether to enter in future to consider this as a serious option," he advised.

Traditionally, councils managed their own entries, but pressures in local government meant this was changing, Holman explained. "This has given us the opportunity to recognise a different form of local management."

Continental Landscapes senior contracts manager Steve Mills said: "The residents appreciate it and our profile is being raised."

London in Bloom

Medals awarded for displays in Westminster:

- Gold St Johns Wood Church Grounds Gardens

- Gold Victoria Embankment Gardens

- Silver Gilt Talbot Square Gardens

- Gold East Finchley Cemetery

- Gold Hanwell Cemetery

- Gold Mill Hill Cemetery

- Gold Dorchester Hotel

- Gold Sarastro Retaurant

- Gold, city category and borough of the year winner Westminster City Council.


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