Floral scheme to be investigated

MONTROSE Together is trying to encourage local people to take an interest and pride in their environment and help make Montrose “a tidy town”.

At their latest meeting members discussed diverting funds originally set aside for breeding a Montrose Rose to other community-based projects to help improve areas of the town.

Chairman Peter Davies said that money had been donated to the former Montrose Partnership by GlaxoSmithKline in 2004 towards the cost of the rose project, which was abandoned after it was discovered it could cost up to £55,000 and take three years to develop.

The original idea was to produce a bloom the same colour as Montrose’s coat of arms, the sale of which would have generated more funds for the community.

Since the scheme had been ditched, it was suggested that the money would be better spent backing the town regeneration committee’s bid to improve Montrose Station under ScotRail’s Adopt a Station programme.

Member Graham Stephen suggested that the idea could be extended to the wider community.

He said: “Montrose Town Council used to compete in the Scotland in Boom competition and I think Montrose did win it. There used to be a plaque in the town office.

“We’re known as a garden town and it would be nice if we got back to the idea of making the town more floral. We seem to have more grass than the prairies and there are other ways of doing things grass, like a wildflower meadow. Apart from anything else, it would mean the council wouldn’t have to always be cutting it.

“More could be done to make the town prettier and to tidy the place up. Some areas aren’t pretty at all and I think we should aim for Montrose to be a tidy town.

“We always get the story that there’s no money, but I’m fed up hearing that.”

Community planning officer Beverley Gibb said that Monifieth Partnership had formed a successful sub-group to carry out beach clean-ups and to prepare the town for Scotland in Bloom as well as implement other environmental projects.

She said: “It’s something that could be done if a group of people got together and applied for funding from the likes of the community grant scheme, and community planning could support it.

“We would need people who were keen to got out and plant plants and water them but it’s something we could do if we could encourage people to get involved.”

Sandy Munro, from the Montrose Society, backed the idea but emphasised that volunteers would have to be keen.

He said: “We need a core of interested people prepared to commit and get fun out of it because of the community process and that’s difficult to do at committee level.”

Members agreed to look into setting up a sub-group which could co-ordinate a community-based scheme run by volunteers.