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Six of the best: Douglas awarded six Green Flags

Douglas Borough Council will be flying the flag six times over this year after being awarded six Green Flags from environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy.


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Since 2013 when Douglas first entered the contest the Council has been consistently successful, increasing its tally of Green Flags each year.  At its first attempt Douglas was awarded flags for Noble’s Park and the sunken gardens; 2014 saw two more flags added, Douglas Golf Course and Douglas Head; and in 2015 Hutchinson Square brought the count to five.


2016 sees the number of flags swell to six, with Douglas Borough Crematorium and Cemetery achieving Green Flag status on its first application.


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Earlier this year the Council completed a £2.9 million project to refurbish the crematorium and cemetery to provide greater convenience and comfort for mourners and staff, upgrade all facilities and equipment, resurface the driveway, and repair pathways, boundary walls and the Garden of Remembrance.


Council Leader Councillor David Christian MBE JP said: ‘It is very gratifying that this major investment by the Council has been recognised by such a respected independent body. Achieving six Green Flags this year is excellent news and testimony to the Council’s commitment not only to maintain its assets in good order but also to improve quality of life in the borough by re-imagining and developing its green spaces for the benefit of the community. The Head of Parks Service Dave Hewes and his team are to be commended for their enterprise and innovatory approach, which has led to the Council achieving consistent success in the Green Flag awards.


‘Douglas remains the sole local authority in the Island to have been awarded Green Flags. Despite mounting pressure on its budgets, the Council remains firmly of the opinion that parks and open spaces are essential community assets which help to project a positive image for the town and, as such, merit investment. 


‘There is no room for complacency, however, as winners must apply each year to renew their status. We see the Green Flag scheme, therefore, as a valuable way to maintain focus, shape future strategy and ensure we continue to deliver consistently excellent service.’


Regeneration and Community Committee Chairman Councillor Stephen Pitts added: ‘The Park Service works tirelessly 12 months a year to achieve truly transformational results in our parks and green spaces throughout the town. I am especially pleased that the crematorium and cemetery refurbishment project has been recognised as everyone involved showed exceptional sensitivity and professionalism throughout the works. All the Parks Service team are to be congratulated for their outstanding contributions that have led to Douglas gaining these six Green Flags.’


Awarded by environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy, the Green Flag award scheme takes into account environmental, management and future planning policies along with community involvement. It is judged by more than 700 experts and is the benchmark national standard for parks and green spaces across the British Isles, Europe, Australia and New Zealand,


The Council’s Parks Service has also been hailed by the Association for Public Service Excellence (APSE), becoming a finalist in the APSE 2016 awards in the Best Service Team: Cemetery and Crematorium Service category, the winner of which will be announced on September 8.