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Hurray for the Flowers
Friday 31st July, 2009

Across the borough, residents have given a massive thumbs up to this year’s floral displays in parks, town centres and along the roads. 98 per cent of those asked on the streets were pleased with the cheerful displays on show.

Surveys of around a hundred people in Ashton, Leigh and Wigan indicate an increase in awareness and appreciation for the colourful blooms which the council and its partners have arranged.

Cllr David Molyneux, the council’s champion for the environment, has been studying the surveys. He says: “Making the borough cleaner and greener is a priority for Wigan Council. It’s pleasing that 79 per cent of those asked are aware of Wigan Borough in Bloom, up 11 per cent on last summer. More importantly, two thirds of people think it’s a good use of council funds and over 70 per cent believe the floral displays help to change people’s behaviour towards respecting their environment.”

Floral displays, public art and clean ups are part of the initiative, but, as Cllr Molyneux adds, it’s more about working with residents, tenants and community groups. “I’m proud of the involvement of the people of the borough,” he says, “Community groups, from Ashton to Gin Pit, from Orrell to Howe Bridge, do their bit just to take pride in their own streets. But taken as a whole, it means that the borough benefits from a fresh, green environment which is good for everyone.”

Surveys form a part of how the council assesses the success of the In Bloom initiative. Each time the question is asked about whether floral displays make visiting the borough’s towns a more pleasant experience, around 85 per cent agree. “We’re encouraging people to shop locally and economically,” adds Cllr Molyneux. “And an attractive street scene really helps this. Of course we want to win the In Bloom Awards for our borough, but we want local people to enjoy their town every single day as well.”

Judges from Northwest in Bloom toured the borough last week, and their assessment of the eco schemes, community projects and displays is eagerly expected by the council’s environmental services team later in the year.

As ever, the team are thanking their partners in Wigan and Leigh Housing, the Leisure and Culture Trust, British Trust for Conservation Volunteers, and the many individuals and groups who do their bit. The council’s In Bloom co-ordinator, Damian Jenkinson, is keen to hear from anyone who wants to help. “If you like what you see, thank your neighbours and the council’s team of partners,” says Damian. “Or if you want to see more, ring me to get involved on 01942 488299.”

Summary of the customer satisfaction survey.

1) Are you aware of the WBIB Campaign?

Summer 2008: 68%
Winter 2008: 77%
Summer 2009: 79%

Summer 2008: 32%
Winter 2008: 19%
Summer 2009: 21%

Don’t know: (2008 winter: 0%, 2008 winter 4%, 2009 summer, 0%)

2) Have you noticed the floral displays?

Summer 2008: 94%
Winter 2008: 88%
Summer 2009: 92%

Summer 2008: 6%
Winter 2008: 12%
Summer 2009: 8%

Don’t know: (2008 winter: 0%, 2008 winter 4%, 2009 summer, 0%)

3) Do you think the floral displays made your visit to the town centre more enjoyable?

Summer 2008: 82%
Winter 2008: 85%
Summer 2009: 86%

Summer 2008: 10%
Winter 2008: 8%
Summer 2009: 10%

Don’t know: (2008 winter: 8%, 2008 winter 8%, 2009 summer, 4%)

4) Do you think that the floral displays are more likely to change peoples behaviour towards respecting their environment?

Summer 2008: 55%
Winter 2008: 77%
Summer 2008: 71%

Summer 2008: 33%
Winter 2008: 19%
Summer 2009: 26%

Don’t know: (2008 winter: 11%, 2008 winter 4%, 2009 summer, 4%)

5) Do you think the floral displays are a worthwhile use of council funds?

Summer 2008: 76%
Winter 2008: 69%
Summer 2009: 66%

Summer 2008: 12%
Winter 2008: 23%
Summer 2009: 23%

Don’t know: (2008 winter: 10%, 2008 winter 8%, 2009 summer, 11%)

6) Overall how satisfied are you with the floral displays around the borough?

Satisfied or Very Satisfied:
Summer 2008: 85%
Winter 2008: 81%
Summer 2009: 98%

Neither satisfied nor dissatisfied:
Summer 2008: 13%
Winter 2008: 12%
Summer 2009: 2%

Dissatisfied or Very dissatisfied:
Summer 2008: 2%
Winter 2008: 8%
Summer 2009: 0%

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