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Plants' hazard leads to ban in East Looe

By Cornish Guardian  |  Posted: October 05, 2012

  • The residents of East Looe Quay Side Streets, lower Chapel street Lower Market Street, have been told to move the the plant pots & flowers from there streets. RESIDENTS OF EAST LOOE QUAY SIDE STREETS. Tuesday 02nd October 2012 Picture By Sean Hernon.

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A GROUP of East Looe residents say they are flabbergasted after being asked to remove plants and flowers from outside their homes – due to health and safety fears.

For years residents of Lower Chapel Street and Lower Market Street have lined the streets outside their properties with plant pots.

Residents say that when in full bloom, tourists are often seen taking photographs of the flowers.

However, Looe Town Council has now told residents that all pots must be cleared away by October 9 – or they will be removed by the authority.

The council said the action is necessary after a man slipped on the slimy ground and injured his knee – and they are fearful of any repeat.

However, Jill Thorn, 70, is among a dozen local residents who have been left furious at the decision of the council.

"We had a letter through our doors saying they want us to get rid of the pots, which we just can't believe," said the Lower Chapel Street resident.

"The tourists come and take photographs of the plants because they look so beautiful – why would the council want to get rid of something that the tourists enjoy?

"No one has come to see us at all (from the town council) to explain this to us; we don't know what is going on."

Jane Read, who lives at Sea View Cottages, was also unhappy: "It is slightly ironic that the council are encouraging us to be more self-sufficient and, through schools, children are being encouraged to grow their own flowers and vegetables. But they are banning my four-year-old daughter from growing things outside her home."

Cornwall councillor for East Looe, Armand Toms, said the council was in a difficult situation and had to take action.

"We've had a lot of problems there over the years, with sweeping, cleaning and weeding and a number of other issues.

"In some cases there were 30 or 40 pots with weeds growing out of them and we've got to be mindful of this.

"It came to a head recently when a local resident slipped over, as it was all slimy on the ground. We've got to do something before something else happens and we get taken to court.

"We want to clear the area, clean it up and put some pride back into it. Once that is all done then I am not against people putting back a small number of pots to make the area outside their homes look better.

"We just want to make the area a better place for the people that live there. I've got no problem with people putting those [plants] out if they are well maintained."

And Edith Coles, from the South East Cornwall Tourism Association agreed with the town council's actions.

"Some of the plants are well looked after but some of the pots contain dead plants and weeds and some have also encroached so much into the streets that vehicles cannot get down there to clean them," she said.

Councillor Gregory, chairman of Looe Town Council's Environment and Public Protection Committee, said: "Quite clearly we had to take action not only for public safety, but also to help make the area a more pleasant place to live.

"In order to achieve this, our community officer has worked hard to ensure that these issues are tackled."

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  • ackedoff  |  October 05 2012, 8:01PM

    oh dear yet another none story from an ill informed reporter There is no law or regulation that relates to hanging baskets in any "elf & safety" legislation. The confirmation of this is in the title of the act its self.....I.E The Health & Safety AT WORK regulations 1974. It does not apply to domestic homes or the actions of those that reside in them. The act is only in place to ensure that people can leave work in the same condition as they arrived I.E HEALTHY & IN ONE PIECE, nothing more, nothing less The problem is that ill informed, and sometimes ignorant, people use it as an excuse for all manner of things, in this case, and reading between the lines, its untidy hanging baskets spoiling the look of looe that's the problem. Perhaps the town council, not Cornwall Council by the way, should get some qualified and competent advice before taking action such as this. As for the disgruntled residents write to the "Elf and safety" myth busters panel specifically set up to challenge these stories (http://tinyurl.com/8opyrfy) its free so you have nothing to loose and perhaps Skinnyman you might find that its accident claims companies, ill informed and sensation seeking reporters and unqualified officials that dictate what we do and think..........not "elf and safety"

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  • Skinnyman1  |  October 05 2012, 6:29PM

    What happened to the days when if 'you' (not she) slipped or tripped I meant of course! Obviously you all knew what I meant :)

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  • Skinnyman1  |  October 05 2012, 6:26PM

    What happened to the days when if she slipped or tripped in public you felt embarrased, wished you'd taken a little more care watching where you were placing your feet, hoped no-one saw it happen and then went on your way, perhaps with your pride a little dented, even if you did cause yourself an injury?! It's happened to me numerous times before, mostly without injury and rather then rush to sue or make a complaint, I just feel a bit of a berk and carry on! Quite sad how health and safety dictates everything we do these days, added to the fact we've become a nation who rush for compensation at every possible opportunity!

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  • Slimslad  |  October 05 2012, 4:03PM

    "The council said the action is necessary after a man slipped on the slimy ground and injured his knee – and they are fearful of any repeat." "Any repeat"? Of people slipping, or "any repeat" of a possible insurance claim?

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  • Taxman100  |  October 05 2012, 3:32PM

    Is no place safe from the prying eyes and mind-boggling dictate of the council's jobsworths and Councillor's? Give the plants some extra food, and tell the Councillor's where 'to go for their holiday'!

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  • kernowmaid  |  October 05 2012, 12:25PM

    Shame that the council have not realised that where the man slipped - there are no plant pots or flowers! The councillor quoted says in this article that we may put some pots back - however this is not what the information is from Cornwall Council. They have also yet to tell us where they want us to put bins - as these also have to be removed. None of the plant pots are blocking any roads at all - the Council workers just do not sweep down these streets - they only stick to the main road around town.

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  • Olly_Gark  |  October 05 2012, 8:30AM

    Have these busybody councillors nothing better to do? Like sort out the corruption, incompetence and wholesale waste that are the trade marks of Cornwall Council.

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  • josdave  |  October 05 2012, 8:20AM

    The council said the action is necessary after a man slipped on the slimy ground and injured his knee – and they are fearful of any repeat Typical one complaint from someone who was unfortunate enough to slip on the road and some jobsworth tells the residents to remove their plants. This is endemic today. It was only one incident and they jump this PC world is mad and the sooner we return to the real valyes the better.

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