Fall out over town churchyard upkeep

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A BITTER row has broken out between Holbeach Parish Council and the town’s In Bloom volunteers over the upkeep of All Saints’ churchyard.

Holbeach in Bloom members have voted unanimously to give up maintaining the churchyard after accusing the council of taking advantage of their efforts.

Officials claim an agreement between Holbeach in Bloom and the parish council to share maintainance of the churchyard has been breached, although they are prepared to continue watering its flowers until the beginning of September.

The decision may affect Holbeach’s chances in this year’s East Midlands in Bloom and Best Kept Small Towns competitions, as well as risking any financial support Holbeach in Bloom gets from the council.

In a letter to the council, Holbeach in Bloom chairman Carol Johnson said: “At our meeting on August 8, a full discussion was held regarding the upkeep of the churchyard and the part we played in keeping this area looking its best.

“Reference was made to the meeting with your chairman on June 18 when the responsibility of various maintenance issues in the churchyard was discussed and how we hoped that progress had been made regarding mutual cooperation between Holbeach in Bloom and the parish council.

“Unfortunately, it is very evident that the council is still not doing what it should to keep our ‘jewel in the crown’ looking pristine and we are still no further forward with the mutual cooperation needed and agreed on this matter.

“It was felt by our members that Holbeach in Bloom volunteers are still doing the work that parish council employees are paid to do, or it is not done at all.

“A vote was taken and the decision was made that Holbeach in Bloom will no longer plant any of the churchyard grounds and wish to hand all maintenance of this area back to the parish council with immediate effect.”

Parish council chairman Peter Savory said: “The letter from Holbeach in Bloom came into our office very late and we couldn’t discuss at our meeting on Monday, so it will go over to next month’s meeting.”