Double success for Newark as it strikes gold in East Midlands in Bloom awards
Newark has been crowned the tidiest place in the East Midlands.
The town scooped a double success in the East Midlands in Bloom competition – landing both a special award for the high standards of cleanliness in the town and an impressive gold accolade.
The news is testament to the sheer hard work and determination of the Newark in Bloom team, staff from Newark and Sherwood District Council and Newark Town Council and a host of volunteers who have helped keep the town in tip-top condition.
The ‘Least-Littered Environment in the East Midlands’ trophy, is a discretionary award specifically marking the pristine state of the town centre while the gold award marks the achievement in the large town category.
The awards follow the district council’s Cleaner, Safer and Greener campaign which focussed on making the district a place to be proud of. In Newark, as well as employing a dedicated, full-time street cleansing operative - in partnership with the town council to ensure Newark town centre is kept clean and rubbish-free – the district council recently replaced every litter bin in the town centre with upgraded and revamped models.
East Midlands in Bloom judges toured the town in July, inspecting Sconce and Devon Park, Otter Park, The Holt, Lockside Garden, Market Place and other areas around the town centre. They assessed three key categories: horticultural excellence, environmental responsibility and community participation.
For the gold award, litter picking sessions, new flower beds, fruit trees, Civil War statues and upgraded litter bins all contributed towards success in the large town category of the award, which forms part of the Royal Horticultural Society’s Britain in Bloom campaign.
A day of action also took place in June this year where graffiti removal, deep street cleansing, litter picking, foliage trimming, weeding, repainting street furniture and installing better signage in the town were among the work undertaken. Colourful shrubs and herbaceous perennials were also planted on the day, to improve surroundings and promote a clean, green and sustainable environment.
A host of volunteers from groups, including Newark in Bloom, also give up their time on a regular basis, dedicating thousands of hours in litter-picking sessions to make the town centre a more pleasant place to be.
District council leisure and environment committee chairman, Roger Jackson, said: “A huge volume of time and hard work goes in to the upkeep of the town by a dedicated team of staff and volunteers and being handed the Gold East Midlands in Bloom award for a third consecutive year is testament to this.
“We are also delighted that Newark has been officially recognised as being the Least Littered town in the whole of the East Midlands. Town centres are the centre point of our communities and we are so grateful to those who tirelessly keep the area clean and tidy for everyone to enjoy.”
Steve Nicholson, Chair of Newark in Bloom, said: “It’s a real privilege to have won the Gold award for the third time, not to mention being recognised as the Least Littered town in the whole competition! “On behalf of the committee, I’d like to thank all the volunteers for their time and hard work as well as support from both the district and town councils.
“We’re up against some tough competition in the Large Town category but we’re thrilled with our score – with 180 points we were only three points away from the winning town!
"This has been a great project that’s giving local groups and organisations the opportunity to get involved in the local community. We are delighted that all the groups enjoyed turning their visions for the flower beds into reality and we look forward to seeing the finished results.”
In the last year, the district council also organised four days of action across the district, including the one in Newark town centre, in partnership with the town council, community groups, police and other agencies to build a sense of pride, well-being and the desire to maintain a clean environment.