11:54am Wednesday 13th June 2012
By Karen Darley
VOLUNTEERS who give their free time to help keep Pickering blooming say they will consider pulling out if vandals continue to damage their work.
Over the weekend beer bottles and fast food remains were left in newly-planted tubs along Smiddy Hill, while a number of plants were pulled out.
Damage has also been caused to the jubilee bed at the top of the Market Place, while another plant in a different planter had been broken off.
Peter Emmerson, chairman of Pickering in Bloom, said the hard work and personal time given by volunteer gardeners had been rewarded by a few mindless individuals damaging their work.
“I registered with the local police, via 101, before the jubilee weekend that we needed extra vigilance in the town,” he said.
“We had spent many hours – in excess of 100 in the last couple of weeks – and several hundreds of pounds on planting in the town and needed extra vigilance, particularly in the evening and when the pubs turn-out.
“I was told by one life-time resident of Pickering that once upon a time a police car would be stationed at the top of the Market Place at pub turn-out time to stop this sort of behaviour.”
Vandals also struck in Pickering last month, causing damage to railings and street furniture along the riverside walk which had recently been painted by two local Scout groups as part of the town’s efforts in the Yorkshire in Bloom competition.
“As this is a recurring problem, I suggest that if we cannot get adequate support of the local police or the licensees, then we will have to seriously consider whether Pickering is worthy of the work Pickering in Bloom does for the town,” Mr Emmerson said.
“Without us the town would not have the added appeal that it does to its visitors, with the consequential loss of revenue to the local businesses. So it is in their interest to get behind us and support our cause.
“The damage is repairable by our team this time, but we will not tolerate banging our heads against a brick wall indefinitely.”
PC Tim Welford, of Ryedale Police, said they were investigating the matter and appealed for anyone with further information to contact him at Malton Police Station on 101.
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