Graham Price, chairman of Kingsbridge in Bloom, Water­ide Park, Kingsbridge, writes:

With lots of bad news around at the moment, it is good to be able to give some good news for a change.

Well, here we are, having been judged for our ninth year in Kingsbridge for our entry into the Britain in Bloom Champ­ion of Champions competition. We as a group are all volunteers and work throughout the whole year to keep our town vibrant and to look after and develop many of our public open spaces for everyone to enjoy.

Year on year our workload increases due to cut- backs from the District and County Councils but we just manage our way through the many obstructions to just get the job done.

Unfortunately there is no longer a guarantee that the service levels previously provided by the councils for highway and public open spaces maintenance will ever come back to what we had all been used to in the past, so it is important to continue to maintain a sense of pride and wellbeing here. We do recognise that many small towns who do not have the level of volunteer support that we are fortunate to have and rely on a very much reduced Council maintenance regime are really struggling in the High Street and many are in decline.

I would like to thank our great Team, usually decked out in Kingsbridge blue, for an outstanding effort to keep Kingsbridge looking well cared for and attractive and secondly to thank the residents and visitors who really show their appreciation for our efforts, particularly when we are regularly out working which gives us the incentive to carry on with our work. We are told by many that this year our town looks better than ever.

Without the enthusiasm of our Town Council and our SHDC and DCC Councillors as well as support from other groups and the many businesses in the town and local area we would struggle to continue with our work so we are really happy for their ongoing encouragement.

I am pleased to say that our Team continues to grow in strength which is good news but we are always looking for new people to come to help us and spare whatever time they have available.

Our judging this year was carried out by a Senior RHS judge who was really impressed by Kingsbridge, in particular the way that local residents also contribute to our Bloom entry by taking responsibility for their own locality within the town.

Being a National Gold winner we have much to live up to and hopeful that we will be rewarded with another good result so that we can build on our success.

We have lots of ideas for next year so hopefully with ongoing community support we can continue with confidence.

Our results this year will be announced at an RHS awards event in Taunton on 6th October so fingers crossed for a good result!