A FLOWER bed built as a lasting reminder of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee cost more than £11,000, but councillors say it will be a lasting reminder of village celebrations.
Filled with brightly coloured flowers, the curved stone raised bed on the Maltby Triangle, Chester Road, Helsby has been built to welcome visitors and residents into the village and to remind villagers of the spectacular parade during the Jubilee celebrations.
Now, despite villagers saying they haven’t seen the floral tribute and that it is in the ‘wrong place’ for villagers to enjoy, members of Helsby Parish Council have spent another £460 to add a slate plaque to the landmark.
This brings the total cost of the flowerbed – which stands behind a tree almost opposite the community sports club on Chester Road – up to a grand total of £11,284 with £300 in architects’ fees added on top of the £10,524 building costs. But Helsby Parish Council has only paid £6,784 after Cheshire West and Chester Council agreed to part-fund the project.
To date the cost of Helsby’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations to the parish council stands at about £11,053 with the parade alone, including bunting, flags, a band and road closures costing almost £2,500, and advertising in the Helsby News costing £974.
During a parish council meeting, councillors decided to place the gold lettering commemorating 60 years of Queen Elizabeth II’s reign on a slate plaque rather than the cheaper £320 granite plaque, saying there would be less chance of it being targeted by thieves as it was heavier and because it would ‘stand out more’ to passers-by.
Parish council chairman Terry O’Neill said the flower bed had been welcomed by neighbours living close to the land, and the council had removed a dog litter bin to make the flower bed more visible from the pavement and the road.
“We looked for somewhere at the entrance to the village so that people can see it when they come into the village and head towards Frodsham,” said Cllr O’Neill, who added CWaC had been impressed with the work and would be maintaining the bed over the years.
“There is a big tree there but we can’t take that down, in fact it seems to add to the display.
“We hope that it will act as a lasting reminder of the celebrations and that no-one will vandalise it. Hopefully it will stay there forever.”