Exeter’s Silver Gilt Award at the National RHS Britain in Bloom Finals






Exeter’s Silver Gilt Award at the National RHS Britain in Bloom Finals

At the star-studded RHS Britain in Bloom National Awards gala event held at Edgbaston Cricket Ground on Friday night [14 October 2016], Exeter was awarded a Silver Gilt Medal for the work done across the city and university during the year.

This was the first time for 25 years that Exeter has been in the National Finals – and this year Exeter represented the whole of the South West in the ‘Small City’ category (a category which included Harrogate, Canterbury, Derry, Loughborough, Colchester and Rugby).

Each of the 3 core elements of Exeter’s Award are scored separately: Silver for Horticultural Achievement ; Silver for Environmental Responsibility; and GOLD for Community Participation.

The two National judges were impressed by the strong horticultural links based on the famous Veitch family of Exeter and said that the university grounds were ‘just spectacular’, so much so that they intend to visit again just to enjoy a private tour of the trees and shrubs

There was particular praise for the hanging baskets in the High Street and Gandy Street, funded by The Exeter Business Improvement District (BID) and for the BID’s team support for cleansing services in the city centre. And Princesshay’s Roof Garden and Bee Hives were singled out for special praise.

Andy Littlejohns, Operations Manager of Princesshay, said, “This Award is a fantastic achievement and we were very pleased to have been involved in the whole process.”

Exeter’s Britain in Bloom team is a strong partnership between the city council staff, volunteers and the University who hosted community groups, welcomed the National Judges and showed off their superb campus:

University of Exeter Director of Grounds, Iain Park, said: “We are very proud to have contributed to Exeter’s Britain in Bloom success. To receive this kind of recognition is wonderful news and reflects the hard work that our dedicated staff put in to maintaining the University grounds to the highest standard. The city has so many wonderful areas for both the local community and visitors to the city to enjoy.

“Both the Streatham and St Luke’s campuses have also been bestowed with Green Flag awards this year, which signifies to the city and its visitors that the University’s grounds are kept to the upmost quality and are wonderfully maintained for everyone to enjoy.”

Exeter in Bloom’s community contribution was supported by a grant of £2,000 from The Exeter Board Fund to engage with the 26 individual It’s Your Neighbourhood grass-roots community entries who among them achieved ten ‘Outstanding’ awards. The judges said, “The presence and support of Exeter’s numerous community groups was tremendous.”

Paul Bull, Exeter City Council’s Lead Councillor for Communities and Neighbourhoods, said: “It’s gratifying to note that the Exeter in Bloom entry was classified GOLD for community engagement.

“Time and time again, I see the work of local residents transforming their neighbourhoods and making a difference in their communities. Many local projects have been taking place around the year by local volunteers, and I’ve managed to join some of these in recent months. The award of the Silver Gilt for Exeter is recognition of all this tremendous effort.”

Christine Fraser and Paul Collier, leading Exeter in Bloom, were presented with a special flag to be flown in the City and a special banner is in the post.

Paul Bull, Christine Fraser, Diana Moore and Stella Cahill with the Silver Gilt flag

Retiring from managing Exeter in Bloom, Christine Fraser said, “It has been a pleasure and a real privilege to be linked to over 300 volunteers across the city contributing so much to improving areas where we all live and work. We wish Stella Cahill, who will be taking over this role, every success in the future”.

Christine Fraser remains on the RHS South West in Bloom Committee and will continue to enjoy her regional judging role during her retirement.


For further information:
Christine Fraser – fraser@bystock.eclipse.co.uk and 07773038689
Iain Park – I.D.Park@exeter.ac.uk
Cllr Paul Bull – cllr.paul.bull@exeter.gov.uk – 01392 275886



E&E | Demonstrators plan protest ahead of final decision over future of Devon’s school lollipop patrollers

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15 February 2016

Demonstrators plan protest ahead of final decision over future of Devon’s school lollipop patrollers

A demonstration is being organised outside Exeter’s County Hall this week to coincide with when Devon County Council decide the fate of Devon’s school lollipop patrollers.

A group of parents, children and possibly lollipop patrollers are planning to stage a protest at 1.45pm on the steps outside the main entrance of County Hall ahead of a full council meeting this Thursday. Protestors will be wearing visibility jackets and holding lollipops.

It is being organised by mum-of-two Stella Cahill, from Stoke Hill, Exeter, who has been among a group of parents involved in the Save our School Lollipop Patrollers campaign.

Stella said: “The plan is to be there as the councillors go in for their meeting at 2.15pm.

“I have one child a Stoke Hill Junior School and my other goes to Stoke Hill Infant School. We did have two school crossing patrollers – one at a crossing between the schools and one down the roundabout near the schools. We now just have one by the schools. If that patroller is taken away too I think someone will get hurt because cars speed down the road and visibility is not good. You also get children from the juniors crossing by themselves to come over the infants to meet their parents and siblings.

“I don’t know how our school will fund it if the council decide not to. There is not a vast amount of money spare in anyone’s budget.”

Despite overwhelming opposition from the public, schools and councillors to cease funding school lollipop patrollers, the council’s cabinet approved the proposal at its meeting last week and it is now up to full council to give it the final go ahead.

The reason behind the cost cutting plans is to save £250,000 a year from the county council budget. Instead the cost will transfer to schools, with the patrollers themselves employed by a third party that would deliver the service on a full-cost recovery or commercial basis.

If schools decide not to fund the cost of their patrol, the alternatives are for it to be run by volunteers or to lose the service.

To make sure the service continues to be delivered safely, the council says it is prepared to continue a degree of support such as establishing and monitoring quality standards, providing training and doing risk assessments.

Andy Hannan, Devon County Councillor for Priory and St Leonard’s, said: “Labour councillors are proposing an amendment to the council budget to transfer £250,000 from members’ locality budgets, reducing them all from £10,000 to £6,000 each, in order to maintain DCC’s provision of school crossing patrols.

“In other words, we’re giving all councillors a chance to make a contribution from funds they have to support good causes in their own communities.”

For details of joining the protest on Thursday visit ‘save our crossing patrols protest’ on Facebook.