THERE’S something fishy going on in New Parade, Worthing.
Residents of the seafront street have been left baffled and angered after the fish-shaped flower beds in the green space in front of their homes have been filled in by Worthing Borough Council.
The lawn, which is owned by the council, previously featured a boat filled with flowers and two neighbouring fish-shaped flower beds, a design which is said to have been proposed to the council by residents to spruce up the space a few years ago.
However, the fish-shaped beds have now been filled in with turf, much to the anger of New Parade residents.
Resident Carol Walker said: “I was so shocked one day when I saw workmen come along and start filling in the fish. We weren’t told about this at all, and I think we should have been able to have a say.
“I know to some people it may seem like an insignificant development but it really added some character to this place.”
Other residents said they would have been happy to maintain the beds themselves if there were funding problems.
Anna Chant said: “Maybe they didn’t have the budget to keep replanting bulbs.
“But even if they left the beds empty we could maybe look after the lawns. Or they could even put gravel down instead? Just keep the shape.”
Andrew Avison added: “We have lots of people walking past here to enjoy the vista or the pier and the sea, and they have asked us what’s happened to the fish. They said it was a shame they have gone, and I agree.”
Worthing Borough Council has defended the move, saying the fish-shaped beds were proving costly to maintain.
A council spokesperson said: “What has been carried out is an in-fill of the fish-shaped beds, leaving the boat and new planting with phormium plants – which survive in dry conditions and look good throughout the year – as a feature.
“A tree is also going to be replaced and will be planted shortly.”
The council said residents had the opportunity to have their say in the Your chance to be the Chancellor questionnaires carried out in October.
A spokesperson said: “Parks was identified in our public consultation exercise as an area the public would be willing to see a reduction in services to save money, and this is an example of where this has been carried out.”
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