Petition launched to support Bute gardens

Bute community councillor Iain Gillespie has launched a petition to help save Ardencraig Gardens.

Bute community councillor Iain Gillespie has launched a petition to help save Ardencraig Gardens.

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A petition has been launched to save one of the jewels in Bute’s crown from the axe in Argyll and Bute Council’s budget-saving plan.

Rothesay resident Iain Gillespie has stepped up to the challenge laid down in The Buteman last week by putting together a petition which asks members of the public to voice their support for Ardencraig Gardens.

The local authority’s ‘Service Choices’ budget consultation - which closes on December 31 - includes a suggestion that all bedding plant displays in Argyll and Bute be replaced with grass - a move which would threaten the future of Ardencraig, where bedding plants and shrubs are grown for both Bute and Cowal.

Mr Gillespie, who is also a member of Bute Community Council, said: “In my opinion, if the displays are cut back or discarded they will never be reinstated.”

Ardencraig made a significant contribution to Bute’s success in the 2015 Beautiful Scotland competition, in which the Bute In Bloom community group won the top prize - the Rosebowl - for the second time in six years, as well as lifting the Coastal Town award and the Community Involvement prize.

Competition judges Sandy Scott and John MacLennan, who gave the group 94 points out of a hundred for ‘horticultural achievement’, said: “The local authority plantings at the Promenade have a total ‘wow’ effect’.”

The petition can be signed locally at several Rothesay businesses including the Victorian Shop, Macqueen’s Butchers, Toffo’s newsagent, Print Point and For Bute

* More on this story in the January 1 edition of The Buteman - on sale now.