Bloomin’ heck! Councillors decide to prune spending on £12k hanging baskets

The baskets in Cranbrook Road last summer. Photo: Dharam Sahdev

The baskets in Cranbrook Road last summer. Photo: Dharam Sahdev - Credit:

A Redbridge council committee revealed nearly £12,000 a year was being spent on hanging baskets in Ilford, Gants Hill and Seven Kings on Tuesday.

The area seven committee, covering Cranbrook, Valentines and Newbury wards, decided to cut spending on the baskets at their meeting at Highlands Primary school, in Highlands Gardens, Ilford.

The pretty planters decorate Cranbrook Road, Beehive Lane, Ley Street, Aldborough Road South and other streets all year round, costing £11,880 in total.

The winter baskets cost £58 each for maintenance, while the summer ones cost £79 per basket.

But councillors decided the winter blooms would get the chop in a review of their 2013/14 budget.

Cllr Shoaib Patel said: “If we were in a different economic climate, I wouldn’t consider looking at this and I’m very fond of them.

“But in winter the daylight hours are shorter and people can’t appreciate them in the dark.”

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Cllr Elaine Norman agreed, saying it was an “awful lot of money” to spend on the 77 baskets.

But Lorraine Silver, chairman of Cranbrook Residents’ Association, said it was good to have flowers all year round.

She added: “People can be brightened up by it and it’s nice to look at plants even in the winter.”

The committee resolved to have summer baskets only and look into longer-lasting plants to reduce maintenance costs.