Austerity measures affecting landscape schemes in the south-west

I was reading North Somerset Council’s magazine last week. This monthly magazine, delivered to all North Somerset residents, prints the unitary authority news and outlines changes to services, recycling initiatives, letters from the public etc. I find it normally a good read.

In our current economic times, it often makes a point of highlighting the austerity measures the unitary authority is bringing in to try and save money. However, this month there was a big article on how the unitary authority is intending on saving money in its landscape schemes.

The key issues seemed to revolve around not planting annuals (or not as many), replacing many of the usual flowering beds with perennials, using planting that could cope with the seaside conditions in North Somerset, selecting species that required little watering or maintenance, reducing the number of hanging basket displays (presumably because of their high maintenance requirement) or using hanging baskets with a water reservoir.

Although, I suppose we should applaud the unitary authority of coming up with these measures, a part of me was horrified… Why haven’t we been undertaking, what sounds like just common sense, for years?

Why is it that it takes a recession to adopt such measures, when it should have been standard practice?

What about sustainability, saving our previous water resources as well as cost saving…well I suppose it’s only our money the Council has been wasting for years…