RESIDENTS have vowed to take matters into their own hands and buy their own hanging baskets for a park after BCP Council cut funding. 

Poole Park used to have several hanging baskets with seasonal flowers planted in put up on the red phone boxes. 

But this year, the authority is no longer providing the money for them, partly because of costs and partly for eco purposes. 

Campaign group Leave Poole Park Alone is made up of residents who demanded BCP Council leave the gate open to cars. 

Bob Lister, of Leave Poole Park AloneBob Lister, of Leave Poole Park Alone (Image: Daily Echo)

Bob Lister, a vocal campaigner, said the group is looking at taking matters into their own hands and buying hanging baskets themselves. 

He said: “The council is doing less and less: the grass is not being mown in verges everywhere, the road signs are being blocked off and they are not replacing the hanging baskets. It’s disgraceful. 

“Hanging baskets bring a lot of colour to the park and it’s looking bleak at the moment. We need some colour and vibrancy to lift people’s spirits.” 

Poole Park’s phone boxes were put out of use during the pandemic before grounds maintenance “staff” upcycled them to have new planters and annual bedding varieties. 

In September last year, Bournemouth Town Centre BID stepped in to pay for all hanging baskets and floral pedestals in the town centre following the withdrawal of funding by BCP Council. 

Empty phone boxes in Poole ParkEmpty phone boxes in Poole Park (Image: Daily Echo)

Baskets on the phone boxes in 2022Baskets on the phone boxes in 2022

And this represents “a significant investment” in the appearance and environment of the town centre, said the BID’s Chairman, Martin Davies. 

There are 102 hanging baskets in Westover Road, Old Christchurch Road, Poole Hill, the Triangle, and the Square, with 22 pedestals in Westover Road, Richmond Hill, Post Office Road, and Old Christchurch Road. 

A BCP Council spokeswoman said: “With the financial pressures facing all local authorities, and the need to prioritise spending in our core services, it has been necessary for us to reduce spending on grounds and parks over the past several years. 

“As part of this, we took the decision in 2023 to move from using bedding plants to perennials for all our displays throughout BCP. 

“This also helps us to reduce our carbon footprint by creating displays which require less water and less maintenance.”