Wednesday, 10 April 2013


This article appears in today's Leicester Mercury:

Lord Mayor honours group
by Stephen Penn & Stuart Rust
A community group which helped brighten up its neighbourhood with floral displays and hanging baskets has been honoured by the Lord Mayor.
Aylestone Local Action Group was formed in 2010 after residents were inspired by the annual Britain in Bloom contest to improve the area.
They applied for funding from the city council to put up hanging baskets on shop fronts and commissioned steel planters to help liven up the main road through the area.
On Monday, the group was presented with the Lord Mayor's Honoured Citizen Award at the town hall.
Chairman Lin Moss said: "We had the idea to improve the look of the shopping precinct in Aylestone, and the Britain in Bloom scheme gave us the focus of flowers and plants to make it a more attractive place, both for residents and those who travel through.
"There has been a great reaction from the community.
"While we are out watering or changing the plants, we also get a positive reaction from people in the street.
"However, it takes a lot of work and, as we are all volunteers, we are always looking for people to lend a hand."
The group has received support from people and organisations, including shopkeepers and the Brownies.
It has received funding from the city council's Aylestone ward community fund.
As well as hanging baskets and flowers, the group has also put up a notice board in the centre of Aylestone, and holds regular litter picks.
Lord Mayor Councillor Abdul Osman said: "I went down to Aylestone to see for myself the work they have done and was very impressed with the steel planters and all of the design work they have managed to do with the ward funding."
They were nominated for the award by Aylestone councillor Nigel Porter. He said: "I'm happy to see the group get honoured here, especially after witnessing their hard work over the past three years.
"It's nice to see them getting their well-deserved pat on the back and a cup of tea."
Fellow ward councillor Adam Clarke said: "It's great to see the group getting so involved in the community and helping make changes beyond the capabilities of the council."

In the photo above, back row, third from right is Minou Cortazzi, who represents the city's Bahá'ís on Leicester Council of Faiths, of which she was Chair, 2007-09.

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