Boris's bureaucrats go basket bonkers!

Boris Johnson's Transport for London bureaucrats have gone bonkers over Islington's hanging flower baskets and ordered that some of them must come down – for health and safety reasons.

In an extraordinary bit of red tape, Transport for London bosses have told Islington Council that the baskets pose a risk to pedestrians, buses and cars. The Council has had to check each lamp-post to see if it can take the "strain".

Council staff have now taken down ten of the offending baskets along Upper Street and Holloway Road.

Islington's Liberal Democrat council has put up a record number of flower baskets this year – over 1000 across the borough. Islington is representing London and the South East in this year's "Britain in Bloom" competition, so TfL's intervention is particularly unwelcome. TfL have a long history of supporting "Britain in Bloom" and were former sponsors.

Islington's Liberal Democrat council leader Terry Stacy said:
"This is health and safety gone mad! Flower baskets have never hurt anyone in all the time we've had them in Islington – they're fixed to the lamp column.

"But the City Hall clipboard brigade have ordered them to come down. It makes no sense - we've only been told to take some down while others in the same street are fine!

"This is a real slap in the face for the Liberal Democrat council's efforts to brighten up Islington."

Liberal Democrat London Assembly Member, Caroline Pidgeon, who chairs the Assembly's Transport Committee, said:
"Boris made great play of having a bonfire of petty regulations when he stood for election. Yet here in Islington we see nothing's changed since Ken Livingstone's heyday.

"Islington's flowers are a joy. Boris's bureaucrats are just killjoys."