A MULTI-AWARD winning finalist in the Britain in Bloom competition has pulled out due budget cut backs.

Stockton Borough Council has participated for many years and won gold and special award in last year’s national finals.

However the Teesside area will still be represented by Eston and Moorsholm who have been nominated by Northumbria in Bloom to join 74 finalists in the Royal Horticultural Society event.

Eston will compete in the urban community category and Moorsholm will go for the best village award.

Stockton Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment, Councillor David Rose, said: “Throughout these unprecedented public sector budget cuts our number one priority must be to protect, where possible, front line services and especially those services which support the most vulnerable.

“Consequently, as part of our planned approach to addressing these challenging financial times, we have taken the difficult decision not to enter Stockton Borough in the Britain in Bloom competition this year.

“We are pleased we went out on a high last year by winning gold in the Best City category and the Pride of Place Award which was testament to the hard work of everyone involved.”

The authority will still be providing flowers across the borough, but not the same standard as previous years.