A HORTICULTURAL society has slammed Solihull Council’s cost-cutting decision to tarmac over a Shirley roundabout.
The council decided to replace bedding plants from residential traffic islands, in the Heart of England in Bloom winning borough, with sustainable greenery as part of its budget savings strategy. But in Stanway Road, the roundabout was deemed ‘unsuitable’ for sustainable plants and has been tarmaced instead.
Coun Ian Hedley (Shirley East, Lib Dem) said: “This is the only roundabout in the borough where the flower bed has been removed.
“We have had difficulties getting things to grow in the past. It’s very, very shallow. In Transport, they decided there was nothing else they could do but tarmac over it.”
But Edd Friend, chairman of Shirley Horticultural Society, said it was a shame for the borough, which regularly wins the regional section of the Britain in Bloom competition.
“It was always a picture. It just adds a bit of colour and brightness to a developed area,” he said.
“People driving past these roundabouts on the way into Solihull get a very favourable impression of the place.”
The roundabout now has four bollards with no current plans to replace the flower bed with another feature.
A council spokeswoman said: “We have been able to plant all of the identified islands with sustainable planting, with the exception of the Stanway Road island. This, unfortunately, was not suitable for the sustainable planting and so regrettably has had to be covered over with tarmac. We have however kept the bedding plants in our parks, and town centres, including Shirley High Street.”