A RAY of hope has been offered to residents of a Weymouth street who were told to take out insurance for flowers outside their homes.

As reported, residents on Wesley Street received a written warning from Dorset Council about flowers and plants on the street outside their front doors, followed by a visit from Highways officials who said they would have to pay for public liability insurance, of an unknown cost, in order to obtain a planting out licence.

The news came as a blow to the green-fingered residents - after they, and their flowers, attracted widespread support for brightening up the street.

But hopes have now been raised, as a constructive public meeting was held on Thursday evening.

Wesley Street residents were joined by supporters from around Weymouth, as well as Dorset councillor for Melcombe Regis Jon Orrell - who may have found a solution.

Cllr Orrell, clearly very passionate about helping residents keep the flowers, suggested that residents join the 'Transition Towns Weymouth and Portland' scheme, which aims to support local community projects, with a particular focus on responding to climate change and grass-roots campaigns.

"The Transition Town project is covered by a £5 million pound public liability insurance - so by signing up to the scheme, I am hopeful that the residents of Wesley Street can find a solution," he said. "I am determined to do everything in my power to make sure the flowers can stay as this is exactly the sort of thing we want to encourage - the residents deserve to have their efforts in taking pride in their community recognised and appreciated."

Cllr Orrell - who is chairman of the Transition Towns scheme - said he is now going to work with officers in Dorset Council to establish whether the issue of public liability insurance can be resolved by such a move.

The residents also decided to set up an new committee - and a vote was taken over its name - with the majority in favour of 'Flowers of Wesley Street.'

John Simmance, who is publican of the Duke of Albany pub, where the socially-distanced meeting was held, praised the residents' efforts and said the street was one of the reasons he decided to move to the town.

And resident Robin Clark said there was a strong sense of community in the street as it had taken him just a short while to get to know his neighbours and make friends, having recently moved to Wesley Street from Wyke Regis. "They deserve to be held up as an example to others - not be made an example of," he said.

Other attendees at the meeting had come from other areas of the town to show support after reading coverage of the story in the Echo.

Forthcoming meetings of the newly-formed 'Flowers of Wesley Street' group will be held soon.

To find out more about Transition Towns Weymouth and Portland visit weymouth-and-portland-transitiontown.co.uk