IN Bloom organisers in Devizes have decided to pull out of this year's regional event as they are disgruntled about the lack of support the town gets from the south west judges.

The Devizes In Bloom Committee decided it would prefer to concentrate on its own events in the town rather than entering the South West In Bloom despite winning gold awards for the past two years.

Devizes town councillors have now backed this decision. Deputy town clerk Simon Fisher said: "The south west committee and the overall competition has become less influential and less effective.

"No advice and information is now offered to local groups as it was in previous years. The annual launch event, which was a vehicle for the south west committee to talk about the competition, ways to be successful and pass on any relevant news, is now a series of long talks by irrelevant, if interesting, bodies."

The town council also pointed out that the judges now all come from Devon and Cornwall and the focus of the contest is now on these counties. Mr Fisher said: "Wiltshire runs a very poor third." He also said that the competition takes a lot of officer hours to co-ordinate and with more services being transferred to Wiltshire Council their time could be better spent elsewhere.

He said: "It is enormously satisfying to receive a gold award but this does not have an impact on the local economy as many people are unaware of the competition."

But there will be plenty of events for garden lovers and those keen to see the town look clean and beautiful this summer to be involved with.

Devizes In Bloom is organising a town trail for businesses with a Blue Planet theme and schools are being invited to create sea creatures out of recycled plastic.

The clean-up squad CUDs is also growing and makes regular tours to clear litter and to plant flowers. The town's In Bloom competition will also have several extra categories.