Gardener's Weekend rebuttal

By on 01/06/2011 in Rebuttals

In response to today’s Birmingham Mail story 'Garden Show facing axe'

Cabinet Member for Leisure, Sport and Culture Cllr Martin Mullaney is considering changes to Gardener’s Weekend – an event that has seen attendances decline from 26,268 in 2004 to just 12,364 last year.

But there are no plans to 'axe' the event.

Cllr Mullaney said: “For anyone to suggest we're axing the show is absolute nonsense but we are looking at what can be done to refresh an event that has seen visitor figures drop dramatically in recent years. There were just 13,000 last year, down from 26,000 just six years earlier.

“Moving the event is nothing new as it has been held in Handsworth Park, Cannon Hill Park and the city centre in the past. We regularly review our events programme.

“We've consulted the allotment societies, who are supportive of efforts to refresh the show, and are now drawing up plans that we hope will bring this event to a wider audience.  Staging the floral show as part of Artsfest would certainly do that as that event consistently attracts over 250,000 people and is free.”

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There Are 4 Brilliant Comments

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  1. Jacqueline Jones says:

    It saddens me that the largest Local Authority in Europe cannot hold a Gardeners’ Weekend, to propose splitting it into two fragments or tagging it on to the end of the Arts Fest shows how little understanding and lack of gardening knowledge Cllr Mullaney and his committee possess. As for the muted proposal to hold it in the City Centre, well can you imagine the Chelsea Flower Show being staged in Piccadilly Circus! A City Centre location is absurd when you think of the beautiful parks there are in and around Birmingham, I believe Kings Heath has just recently won another grand award. Cllr Mullaney categorically states that the Show will not be “axed”, it doesn’t have to be – it will die a natural death if any of his muted proposals are adopted – any nurseryman/allotment holder, will tell him early September is the ideal time for such a Show. In any event he has left it too late this year to stage anything resembling a garden show, growers who have been unable to get any information out of the City Council will have made other arrangements. If you can’t put on a decent show Cllr Mullaney then don’t insult the City with your half-hearted proposals. If money is the problem why not make it a biennial event and do the show and the City justice at least every other year. I would have thought that sponsorship would not be that much of a problem especially as Birmingham has the second largest financial district in the U.K., it is blessed with many successful businesses, I believe JLR posted record results only a few days ago and what about Birmingham Airport – have any of these Institutions/Corporations been approached by the Council Sponsor Department? You mention dwindling numbers – well again last year the Council must carry the can to a large extent – there was uncertainty as to whether it was going to be held in the first place, again little information was forthcoming to growers, traders and public alike and the country was coming out of recession and people did not have the money to spend as they normally would.

    Finally, whilst Cllr Mullaney and his Committee mull over the options the phrase “fiddling while Rome burns” comes to mind. As I said you don’t need to AXE Gardeners’ Weekend you are killing it with your indecision.

    • geoffc says:


      As we said in our response to the Mail, plans are still being finalised.

      The audiences for this event have been dropping over a number of years not just the 2010 event) and it certainly needs refreshing.

  2. Deborah Cadman says:

    Well – have you made up your minds yet? Is it on, or is it off? and where? Can we buy tickets online like we used to, or what?

  3. David Wootton says:

    Still watching !!!!!!!!