TOWNSPEOPLE and visitors alike have enjoyed the beautiful floral decoration of our town for many years, with awards in various National and Regional In-Bloom competitions.

This has been achieved with co-operation between the Stratford-in-Bloom Committee and the District and Town Councils. Local businesses and residents have also made immense contributions with private displays, encouraged by the Stratford-in-Bloom local competitions.

Funding from local sponsors has been of significant assistance and the committee is also able to make some contribution by its own fund-raising activities. But its main source of income has always been the local councils and now the committee would also like to express its appreciation of the grant made by the Guild and College Estates for this year.

However, as your readers may know, the District Council has reduced its budget this year in many areas, and this includes its contribution to the Town's floral displays. The Stratford-in-Bloom Committee is committed to making every effort to fulfil its aim of enhancing the natural beauty of Stratford-upon-Avon and its environment, but perhaps inevitably given this reduced funding, there may be areas without displays this year.

The Stratford-in-Bloom Committee will, therefore, appreciate more than ever the private displays of businesses and individuals. An open invitation is also issued to show further support by attending the coffee morning at the Town Hall on Saturday, March 17 from 10am when the 2001 campaign will be launched.

SHIRLEY CRIMP, Stratford-in-Bloom Committee, Quail Close, Stratford.