VANDALS have trashed floral displays set up by an award-winning group leaving them a bill to repair the damage.

Planters on the fountain at Market Hill in Halstead were targeted by the thugs with two troughs being pulled off and broken.

Another trough and a waste bin on Ronald Road were also damaged and a cart at Blamsters Cresent was tipped over.

While the planters belong to Halstead Town Council, Halstead in Bloom offered to pick up the £300 bill due to town finances being reduced this year.

The green-fingered group, which has won a succession of gold awards in Anglia in Bloom, believes the action may have been triggered by a misunderstanding regarding funding.

The Gazette reported how Halstead in Bloom was being asked to consult on the upcoming £400,000 revamp of Halstead town centre.

But some people on social media misunderstood the report and thought the group, which is run by volunteers, had been given the £400,000.

Halstead in Bloom said some people took to social media to say the group was “rolling in cash while businesses are struggling” and other posts had become “vitriolic”.

The group now wants to set the record straight.

Hlastead in Bloom secretary Julia Smith said the group had not received any of the £400,000 which is council money to revamp the whole town centre.

Its role was purely to consult on floral features.

Julia added: “As far as I know we will be asked to consult about plans for the revamp.

“We do manage several planters in High Street and Market Hill and I asked if the existing could be replaced with water retaining items to cut down on maintenance and make best use of resources.

“It is distressing people don’t read reports correctly and then spread false rumours that may or may not incite others to take criminal actions.

“There is CCTV in the town centre that may be used to identify perpetrators.”