Planters to disappear from Redbridge high streets

Neglected planters on Redbridge’s high streets will be taken away “as soon as possible” due to a lack of volunteers and funding to maintain them.

During the pandemic, the Government funded more than a hundred railing and floor planters across the borough to welcome residents back to the high street.

But funding has now dried up, with only 60 rail planters and 14 floor planters being adopted by the local community or businesses as of May this year.

At the council’s place scrutiny committee on June 29, operational director of civic pride Sarah Foster confirmed the council will soon start removing planters containing dead flowers as “they don’t look great”.

Councillor Sadiq Kothia said residents have given him “mixed feedback”, with some objecting to being asked to sponsor planters because “the money ran out and now the problem is being passed on to residents”.

Foster said getting businesses to sponsor flower pots “didn’t prove too popular” but that accepting government funding was still “the right thing to do”.

She added: “It has welcomed people back to the high streets, so it’s achieved its goal in terms of spreading green across the borough.”

Residents and businesses can still adopt or sponsor local planters by visiting this link: https://www.redbridge.gov.uk/our-streets/spruce-up-your-neighbourhood/

Other parts of Redbridge’s green urban landscape policy (GULP) have been more successful, although funding remains a challenge with only £158,000 left for building and maintenance projects until April 2023.

The GULP action plan for the 2021-2024 shows 15,200 trees were planted on council land in 2021/22, including 587 replacement highway trees and 500 fruit trees given to residents.

Much of the highways’ grassy areas have been turned into ‘grow zones’ that are only cut twice a year.

The council also hopes to find residents who will ’adopt’ weeding duty on their roads to reduce the need for pesticides that slow growth.

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Josh Mellor

Local Democracy Reporter