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Pink shop hit by red tape

PUBLISHED: 09:49 02 May 2008 | UPDATED: 10:29 12 July 2010

A florist who painted her shop shocking pink to raise money for cancer research as part of a town's clean up campaign has fallen foul of district officials.

A florist who painted her shop shocking pink to raise money for cancer research as part of a town's clean up campaign has fallen foul of district officials.

The Diss initiative got off to a flying start this week with the district council's grime busting team bringing in their machines to spruce up streets and pavements, and sweep up litter. It is spearheaded by the town council which is encouraging traders and landlords to smarten up their business premises in a drive to make the shopping centre more attractive, and boost visitor numbers.

But Mere Street florist Christine Lathrope's efforts to brighten up her premises has sparked controversy among local residents and South Norfolk Council officials, who want her to change the new colour scheme.

She is asking people to give their views by putting £1 into charity buckets - one labelled 'I think keep it pink' and the other 'Say no to see it go'

“The woodwork has always been bottle green which was rather dark and miserable, and we have done it fluorescent pink. Obviously, it's not going to stay like that for ever. Some people really hate it and I can't say I love it myself. But you would be surprised how many people go by and shout out: 'Keep it pink',” she explained.

However, the bright new look - which she stressed is only temporary - has not been authorised, and South Norfolk Council has taken a dim view.

Diss district councillor Tony Palmer said: “While I think everyone would applaud the reasons for drawing attention to their collection for breast cancer care, the shop is a grade 2 listed building in a conservation area. The district council's officers have asked that the shop be painted an alternative colour, to be agreed with the conservation architect.”

Town clerk, Deborah Sarson, said the campaign aims to get everyone to pull together in a combined effort to keep the momentum going following the initial clean up blitz. And she has contacted British Telecom and the Post Office to urge them to smarten up their telephone booths and post boxes.

“We are willing to put in the effort and we want everyone else - tenants and owners - to take responsibility for their premises. Let's make it an attractive area,” she said.

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