Recently there have been many letters regarding the lack of floral displays in Braintree - this is only half the problem.

There are a few hanging baskets here and there but it is very fragmented. Some streets have nothing, not even a buttercup.

George Yard is quite bright and clean with some nice displays, a credit to the staff.

The market square is very shabby and uninspiring - a few trees, shrubs, raised flower beds and tubs wouldn’t go amiss. The monument seems to be just a place for young people to hang out smoking and drinking and riding round on their bikes.

This could be a really pleasant feature with some decent seating, even a fountain. The few stalls we have could still be incorporated strategically placed to fit the scene.

Some sidewalk cafes would give the square an upmarket feel, especially in the summer for families and elderly people to sit and enjoy the moving scene. Not everyone wants to sit outside pubs.

Sweet-smelling hedging and herbs could be introduced to make nice parterres. This would not cost the earth, a bit of imagination is all that’s needed.

Town squares are the shop window to any town, a focal point to encourage the visitor.

The “gants” and alleyways leading to two nice restaurants need sterilising and fumigating, a lick of paint to the back entrances to some of these businesses would brighten things up.

Manor Street is sad and drab - don’t get me started on the bus station - and a bit of greenery would soften the concrete and cheer up the passengers.

The seating at the bus shelters is pure torture for old and disabled people, enough to give one a square bottom.

Halstead is a picture, take a leaf out of their book.

Maura Malone

Shalford Road, Rayne