VOLUNTEERS in Grays were angered after Thurrock Council destroyed all the plants and tree saplings they had planted in order to brighten up the town.
Grays Phoenix volunteers last Sunday visited their wildflower beds at Grays Riverside when they made the shocking discovery.
They were visiting the site to do some weeding as part of maintaining the site, which the volunteer group had agreed with the council they would take care of.
However, in what may be a misunderstanding from officers at the council, volunteers were shocked to find that council workers had strimmed down all of their plants and destroyed their tree saplings.
The volunteer group lamented what it described as the “careless attitude” of the council, in what is not the first incident of this nature.
Grays Phoenix said: “We had an agreement with Thurrock Council which beds we would maintain and which ones the council would maintain. Obviously the left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing. We as a group are devastated once again that all our volunteers’ work has been destroyed yet again.”
Thurrock Council have released a statement saying they would like to apologise to the Grays Phoenix group for the grounds work which was carried out in the Grays Riverside area in the beds that Grays Phoenix maintain.
After establishing there was an issue through social media, two officers from the council arranged a site visit with the group to establish the cause for concern and to agree a plan of action going forward.
Cllr Aaron Watkins, Portfolio Holder for Environment said: “News like this is disappointing and I apologise. Groups like these are absolutely vital to the community and I am keen to ensure we can work together wherever possible.
“I’ve been reassured that the environment team have been in touch with group organisers, visited and mapped the areas and will be briefing all grounds maintenance staff as well as exploring ways to easily identify the area to ensure this doesn’t happen again.
“We will also be sending out some seeds, plants and materials to help support the group get back on track with their good work and have offered our own support to help put things right.”