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Fake flowers and foliage on Stamford businesses attract criticism from Stamford town council member

Shops and cafés should not ‘festoon their fronts’ with plastic leaves and flowers, according to a town councillor.

The remark was made by Shaun Ford while addressing Stamford Town Council members and the leader of South Kesteven District Council, Kelham Cooke, at a meeting on Tuesday last week.

After hearing Coun Elaine Hooper speak about tables and chairs outside Freckleface Coffee Co, a business based in Red Lion Street, Coun Ford reacted to the fake ivy which is on the walls, about 3m above ground level.

Freckleface Coffee Co on the corner of Wellington Lane and Red Lion Street in Stamford
Freckleface Coffee Co on the corner of Wellington Lane and Red Lion Street in Stamford

He said: “This business has festooned its front with festive ivy. The penchant for fake flowers in the High Street and on other businesses around the town centre is tacky.

“People do not come to Stamford to look at plastic flowers.”

Responding to his comments, Tara Carlile-Smith from Freckleface told the Mercury the greenery helped make their shops - the home fragrances branch facing Red Lion Square and the coffee shop in Red Lion Street - stand out for customers, especially during the distraction of the Red Lion Square resurfacing works.

Freckleface Home Fragrance in Stamford
Freckleface Home Fragrance in Stamford

She added that they had considered real plants, but watering them would be tricky and so they chose ‘lifelike’ artificial plants for health and safety reasons.

Having checked with the landlord, Tara said they were happy with the way Freckleface looks, and that the town council had not contacted them directly.

“We apologise if the council think it’s not in keeping with Stamford’s aesthetics, but it’s our brand style and we’ve had many compliments about our stores improving the look of that corner of the town,” Tara added.

What do you think? Do you like the look of artificial plants on businesses in the town centre, or would you rather see them removed? Email smeditor@stamfordmercury.co.uk

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