Sefton carries on with Botanic Gardens cuts

Labour-run Sefton Council is determined to ruin Botanic Gardens, which is known as 'The Jewel in Southport's Crown'. The Council want to cut the three remaining plant nursery staff, close the plant shop, and 'outsource' the fernery and aviary. A petition opposing the cuts, with over 4,800 names, was presented to the January meeting of the Council by pupils from Churchtown School. Councillor Nigel Ashton spoke in support of the petition, saying "Although Botanic Gardens will remain open, the question is what sort of Gardens will we have, and will they be worth visiting?" "Botanic Gardens is a major tourist attraction", Nigel Ashton told the Council meeting. "The cuts are not even economically literate. The money lost from tourism will cost Sefton more than the £45,000 you hope to save." Southport's MP John Pugh is a vocal supporter of Botanic Gardens. John says “Every generation of Southport families has enjoyed the Botanic and treasures it. People passionately believe the council proposals are a step too far.” Liberal Democrat councillors will try to overturn the cuts to Botanic Gardens at the Council's annual budget meeting in March.