Great Yarmouth bloomers hit back at ‘jaunt’ claims

A MEMBER of Great Yarmouth and Gorleston in Bloom has hit back at comments that the group’s recent trip to Guernsey was a “self gratifying little jaunt”.

Sue Hacon, coordinator of the team that keeps the borough’s blooms looking tip top, was “exasperated” by comments left on the Mercury website after we reported the group had got stuck on the holiday isle due to bad weather.

Seven members had travelled to Guernsey for last weekend’s final of the Britain in Bloom competition, where Great Yarmouth scooped a silver gilt award and a discretionary tourism accolade, but were left stranded after heavy fog cloaked the island for two days.

The story sparked claims the trip, and extended journey home that included a flight to Gatwick and taxi to Stanstead, had been funded by taxpayers - which prompted Mrs Hacon to reply.

She said: “We flew into Gatwick because there were no flights to Stansted, not our fault but that of the airline Aurigny, who kindly paid for the taxi, no claimed expenses, no expense to the taxpayer.

“We paid our own expenses. We were pleased to represent Great Yarmouth and to gain an award for the town, which in my mind is good news, something for us all to celebrate.”

She added that committee members are volunteers and receive no payment, and their work is helped by a grant from the borough council and members’ fundraising from sponsorship.

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Mrs Hacon also invited those that had commented to join the committee and “do something good for the town”. For more information call her on 01493 650924.