THE MAN recognised by Britain in Bloom for his community work is set to quit his role after being plagued by a series of problems.
David Morris has named health problems and issues with his housing provider, including a continuous leak coming from the side of his flat, among the reasons for his decision.
The Redhill Close resident was handed a Heart of England in Bloom award last summer for the community scheme he was overseeing as well as for his individual efforts.
As well as planting flowerbeds, Mr Morris had helped secure improvements such as getting new PVC doors and windows for 34 properties, campaigning for street lighting on the A435 by Studley Cricket Club and raising almost £100,000 for infrastructure in the area.
But now, while some volunteers will continue to tend to the gardens, Mr Morris has decided to stop his other community activities.
One of the main causes of his stress, as well as health issues, has been the leak which started in November 2013. After numerous calls to Sanctuary Group, which owns his property, he began collecting the water the following year in November 2014 and has so far filled nearly 11 wheeled bins – over 2,500 litres. Bricks are also falling out of the top of his home and others in the close which has not yet been fixed.
Mr Morris told the Standard: “I have met some lovely people over the past three years with the same attitude as myself of what community is about, however the biggest enemy of community is lifestyle.
“When we started our project it was in the school summer holidays and people kindly spared their time to create a truly atmospheric community feel, but time is the enemy, people’s lifestyles are one of working longer hours to pay the bills and when they’re not working, they just want to spend time with their families. This is a sign of the time.
“We are all very proud of what we achieved and proved the pointed that united we stand divided we fall, people power is a powerful thing.
“I would like to take the opportunity to thank all the people who made our project a success over the past three years, with special thanks to the Studley in Bloom team.”
A Sanctuary spokeswoman said: “We are aware of a leak coming from the overflow pipe of a nearby flat, and have been working with this tenant to arrange access so that we can carry out the necessary repairs.”