A SENIOR opposition councillor has expressed disappointment at news Leeds City Council is to cut back on city floral displays.

A decision published on the council’s website says it will not be supplying or maintaining floral displays in the city centre and surrounding areas this spring and summer, due to reduced staffing because of shielding and self-isolating. Reduced resources will be concentrated on making sure spaces are safe and maintained as a priority.

Guiseley and Rawdon councillor Paul Wadsworth, who is Shadow Spokesperson for Environmental Services, said:“With restrictions now starting to ease, I want to encourage people back in to the city centre and I fear this decision will not help. We need the city centre to be vibrant, exciting and welcoming for people, and floral displays are an important part of that.

"Bright and beautiful flowers were once a display of civic pride, a wildflower mix in a flower bed just won’t compete.

“I understand that the service is under pressure due to reduced staffing, and it’s of course right that staff are able to shield and self-isolate safely when necessary - but this should not mean we lose the displays. Cutting back on floral displays will have a negative effect on the appearance of the city centre at the very time we’re trying to make it look as attractive as possible for visitors and shoppers.

“I would urge the council to rethink this short-sighted cut and explore ways that it can maintain these much valued floral displays. It could end up being small but vital part of helping to get our local economy moving again.”