Steyning in Bloom ‘cannot survive’ without more funds

STEYNING in Bloom has made an impassioned plea for more council funding.

Committee member Elisabeth Harden said the group cannot carry on without more support.

She gave a presentation to Steyning Parish Council last Monday, asking for an increase in its contribution, and a commitment for future years.

“Without the extra money, we are not going to be able to carry on,” she told councillors.

“This is a request to think about it very, very seriously.”

She said the team received grants from various organisations, but the funding it had received from Horsham District Council in the past was no longer available.

“A lot of people assume the parish council funds all of this,” she said. “We do get grants from various organisations, but we do our own fundraising.”

Supported by team members Val Stringer and David Bucket in the audience, she told the parish council it was particulary important to secure funds for next year, because it was a big one for Steyning.

“Next year, we are marking 400 years of Steyning Grammar School, so we want a good display,” she said.

“We can’t commit ourselves to this unless we have funding up front.

“There are going to be lots of visitors, lots of people coming back to the school, so we want to put on a really good show.”

For the past 20 years, Steyning in Bloom has provided, planted and maintained plants throughout the town, and encouraged businesses to put out displays.

“We put a lot of effort into this,” said Elisabeth. “We are a small committee and we do as much as we can and the residents seem very happy with what we do. We get good feedback.”

Last year, Steyning in Bloom paid £3,000 for pole planting along the High Street.

This year, the committee decided to concentrate on tub planting, bulbs in spring, planting in the town centre and providing hanging baskets on the poles at each end of the High Street.

Elisabeth added: “But there has been added unforeseen costs, as we have round the brackets on the poles are rusting. We now need more funds.”

As well as the planting activities, Steyning in Bloom also holds events such as quizzes and gardener question time.

There is also an annual competition with prizes on offer for the best front garden, best allotment, best container and best business.

Elisabeth said they receive about 50 applications and chose the winners from them.

She added: “We are making a considerable contribution to the adornment of this beautiful town.”