Call to arms in mission to clean-up city

The Ripon in Bloom team assembled outside the town hall. (S)
The Ripon in Bloom team assembled outside the town hall. (S)

Ripon in Bloom organisers have issued a call to arms to clear-up mess and tackle disrepair on the city’s streets before judging takes place for Britain in Bloom.

Brenda Anderson, Ripon in Bloom’s longest-serving member, said her optimism about winning this year’s prestigious competition is flagging due to the state of the city’s streets – and is calling on the people of Ripon to help ensure the historic city looks its best.

“Nobody seems to bother cleaning Ripon these days,” Mrs Anderson told the Gazette ahead of the Royal Horticultural Society’s (RHS) Britain in Bloom judges’ visit to Ripon on Wednesday, August 7.

“We have a lot more to tidy and the RHS has eagle-eyed judges so I want to urge all residents and the council to help us make sure the city looks its best. The little details are so important to the judges.”

After securing gold in last year’s Yorkshire in Bloom contest, Mrs Anderson said she is worried Ripon’s streets are “much less tidier than last year” with patchy paint on the market square benches and litter on the streets. The horticultural team has sent a leaflet out to local residents and businesses asking them to help keep the place tidy.

“Our little group cannot do it alone,” said Mrs Anderson, who said she also feels Harrogate Borough Council can do more to ensure the city looks immaculate.

But a borough council spokesman said resources are being targeted at Ripon ahead of next week’s judging.

The council has been watering hanging baskets during the hot weather in addition to watering the bedding and newly planted trees and shrubs. The council has also been working on “trying to catch up with the weeding of the flower and shrub beds”, the spokesman added.