Bloomin' annoyed: Pensioner's one-man campaign against Bexley in Bloom cancellation (From News Shopper)
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Bloomin' annoyed: Pensioner's one-man campaign against Bexley in Bloom cancellation
An Erith pensioner has set up a one-man campaign against the cancellation of the Bexley in Bloom competition.
In Bloom stalwart Peter Haggar, aged 77, of Victoria Road has taken part in the competition for the past ten years since the death of his wife, Kathleen.
The keen gardener was left disgusted when he received a letter from Bexley Council in November last year telling entrants that the competition would no longer be running due to lack of funds.
Mr Haggar, who has lived in Victoria Road for 38 years, said: "I was a bit hurt, I've been doing it for years, I've had gold for quite a few years.
"I just can't see where they will be making the savings, I spend £200 to £300 a year doing my garden - the cost falls on the residents mainly.
As a sign of protest at the cancellation of the competition Mr Haggan, who worked in the animal feed business before retiring a decade ago, worked on his front garden as if he was preparing for the competition and erected a sign to let people know what was going on.
The sign says: 'Our council are not running Bexley in Bloom this year. They have also not entered London Gardens Competition. However, as always this garden is here for you to enjoy it.'
He said: "The most unfair thing about it was that they only let people who enter the competition know so I've had my letter up in my garden since November.
"I have had a lot of reaction from people - they still enjoy the garden but it is upsetting that it is cancelled."
A spokesman for Bexley Council said: "We are delighted to hear that Mr Haggar is continuing his gardening to help make Bexley a lovely place to live and work.
"We unfortunately had to stop the management of the Bexley in Bloom competition to help meet the£10m funding gap in this year’s budget, and a desire to keep council tax down - which residents have told us, is important to them.
"We have been working hard to raise interest from groups and previous sponsors to take over the management of an ‘In Bloom’ competition, and will continue to do so."