A town’s beloved floral clock has been concreted over, leaving residents furious.
The clock in the centre of Weston super Mare had been maintained by the town’s Lions organisation for the last 10 years.
However, North Somerset Council said they did not give permission for the work on the clock that dates back almost 100 years.
The council said that they did not have the money to maintain the 20,000 plants.
The floral clock has been concreted over
President of the Weston Lions Chick Parikin told BBC News: “Over the last three years we found it harder and harder to look after the clock. We put out a plea last year for people to come out and help us water it, but only two people reacted to our cry for help.”
He added that an artist will paint a mural of sunflowers on the concrete and there will be permanent flowers to attract bees.
Councillor Mike Solomon from North Somerset Council said: “It’s been important to Westonians and I am a Westonian…But we are talking about 20,000 plants being planted every year and maintained.
“We are in a place now where we just don’t have that money to spend. It’s difficult to think of a way forward.”
The clock in 2015
The floral clock was built in 1935 and then restored in 1951. The announcement was met with a furious backlash on social media.
Landscape designer and nature writer Jack Wallington said: “How symbolic of Britain in 2024 – floral clock concreted over to make it easier to look after.
“An artist will paint some sunflowers on it. Why not just plant wildflowers to help wildlife and do something good?”
Another added: “Why was it looked after by a charity anyway? Because the council (who own the land) couldn’t be bothered? Bit rich for the latter to complain that someone else couldn’t compensate for their own failings.”
A local council spokesperson added: “North Somerset Council was not given notice that work was planned, and, as landowner, we did not give our permission for work to be undertaken.
“We appreciate the hard work of the Lions volunteers over many years and look forward to finding an acceptable solution.”
In an updated statement, a spokesperson said: “We’ve listened to feedback from residents…we’ve agreed to remove the concrete and restore flower beds.
“We hope to work with volunteers on this project to make the site the best it can be.”