ABINGDON’S annual floral contest has been called off, with organisers blaming the hosepipe ban for wilting entries.

Abingdon Town Council had only received nine entries for this year’s Abingdon in Bloom.

Jan Morter, a former member of the Abingdon in Bloom committee, said it was a disappointment.

She added: “The contest raises the profile of Abingdon. It’s a miserable summer and some flora and fauna is something people appreciate.

“People didn’t bother planting, because they thought they may not be able to water them.”

But she said enthusiasm in town had waned, adding: “You can’t really force something if the public don’t really want it.

“If there were more people on the committee, it might have made a difference. Only two people volunteered to be on the committee, which shows it doesn’t have the backing of the council.”

But Eleanor Dangerfield, chairman of the Tythe Farm and Ladygrove Residents’ Association, said: “I don’t know if it’s the weather. I visited an open garden and it looked great, despite the weather.

“If they had publicised it more, they could have got more entries.”

Former winner Barry Staite, 72, of Galley Field, said the council had been trying hard but it was restricted by finances.

The council has also decided not to enter the national Britain in Bloom competition for the second year running.