1,854 sign Rothesay flower beds petition

The floral displays in Rothesay's Esplanade gardens - cultivated at the nursery at nearby Ardencraig - could be under threat from budget cuts at Argyll and Bute Council.
The floral displays in Rothesay's Esplanade gardens - cultivated at the nursery at nearby Ardencraig - could be under threat from budget cuts at Argyll and Bute Council.

A total of 1,854 people have put their names to a petition urging Argyll and Bute Council not to get rid of Rothesay’s much-admired floral displays - or the jobs that go with one of the town’s most valued assets.

Copies of a printed petition bearing 858 signatures were delivered to the authority’s Lochgilphead HQ on Monday by local councillor and Argyll and Bute provost Len Scoullar.

In addition an online version of the petition, urging the council to save Ardencraig Gardens from the axe, had attracted 996 signatures when it closed at the same time the hard copy version was delivered.

Grassing over all Argyll and Bute’s flower beds, rose bush plantings and shrub displays was one of more than 140 ‘savings options’ featured in the council’s ‘Planning Our Future’ public consultation, which closed on December 31.

If the suggestion makes it into the final list of service cuts - to be decided at the authority’s annual budget meeting on February 11 - it would also put at risk both Ardencraig Gardens, one of Rothesay’s top visitor attractions, and the adjacent nursery where bedding plants for the Bute and Cowal area are cultivated, along with the jobs of the staff who grow and maintain them.

* More detail in this week’s issue of The Buteman - on sale from Thursday, January 14.