The future of Aylesbury depends on people taking more pride in the town’s appearance, the new mayor has said.
With the Aylesbury in Bloom and Britain in Bloom competitions upcoming, the town council is doing everything it can to spruce up Aylesbury’s image.
But Councillor Steve Patrick, who became mayor last month, says everyone needs to do their bit, not just for the upcoming competitions but so Aylesbury becomes an attractive location for visitors and businesses.
Mr Patrick said: “The difficulty that we’re having is we put a lot of effort into Britain in Bloom and Aylesbury in Bloom, we get some parts of other organisations involved, but we’re not getting everybody.
“We want everybody to take pride in the town and do their little bit.
“We need all shops to look after their areas, front and back, businesses to maintain their premises, home owners to at least keep their front gardens clean.”
Aylesbury in Bloom is used as the basis for the town’s Britain in Bloom entry. Last year Britain in Bloom judges gave the town a silver gilt award for its attractiveness and flower decorations, but also warned about litter and graffiti.
The mayor believes if these problems can be tackled by people taking more care, along with the council sorting out a few areas, the town will blossom.
During a tour of some of Aylesbury’s grot spots, Mr Patrick highlighted the overgrown area by the entrance to Market Square where the Civic Centre used to be as one place in need of tidying up.
He said: “You’ve parked your car, you’re coming into Aylesbury and that’s what you see. It’s not what you want as your first impression.”
Aylesbury Town Council wants responsibility from another overgrown area, the underpass below Friarage Road that leads to the railway station. It currently belongs to the county council but the town council often tidies it.
Mr Patrick said: “If we took it over there would be none of this fighting between different councils as to whose responsibility it is.”
Entries to Aylesbury in Bloom close on June 17.