Tuesday, 1 April 2008

Having a laugh at the punters

Priory Park locked gate on Abbey Street, Old Lenton.

Priory Park locked gate on Gregory Street, Old Lenton.

This afternoon I did the longest walk since my bunion operation in February. I walked down to Dunkirk Post Office to post some books now that Lenton Post Office on Lenton Boulevard has gone. On the way I delivered Labour Party meeting notices to the few members I can't send emails to (I even send one to Chris, my next door neighbour). I saw a couple of people and stopped to chat on the way. I also called in at Parker & Collinson, our local stationers and printers on Church Street, to see if they had printed my four-page 'Lenton Healthy Heritage Walks' insert for the next issue of the Forum newsletter and came away with a few copies. I hope people like it when they read it. Someone has already asked me if one of the captions is correct (it was) as they have lived in Lenton twelve years and never noticed that a large Victorian house on the corner of Derby Road and Lenton has a turret. Already it's been worth the effort, but more about this next week.

Today I want to concentrate on a topic which, for me, is a measure of Nottingham City Council and how it treats its 'punters' — for I am sure that is what we are to all too many City Council managers and, perhaps, a few councillors as well. Anyone who been reading my blog for the past year will know about the plight of the little Priory 'pocket' Park at the junction of Abbey Street and Gregory Street in Old Lenton. Neglected and padlocked for much of the time I had hopes that my efforts of continually drawing attention to its plight had finally brought it the care and attention it deserved. Silly me. The park has been locked every day I have seen it this year and so it was today — as the above pictures show.

I have come to the conclusion that Nottingham City Council is having a laugh at our expense when it comes to our parks. They seem to have dazzled the councillors and the local media with a few 'Green Flags' and the promise of a few more. So much so that they are blind to neglect being shown to other parks in Nottingham like Priory Park. Over the next few weeks I will offer a few more examples of neglected parks in support of my argument, so watch this blog! I'm going to email the City Council's new temporary Chief Executive, Jane Todd, and ask her how much has been spent over the last two financial years on the Green Flag Awards.

In the meantime I offer you the locked gates of Priory Park as my first piece of evidence. I can already hear the derision in City Council offices. With me it's parks and community empowerment. For others it's child care and housing and so the list goes on. All too many Nottingham people don't complain because they have no belief that the City Council will take any notice of them. Having said this it would be unfair to leave you with the impression that all is lost, because this is far from the truth — you only have to look at how many good City Council workers and managers were given Community Awards by the Dunkirk and Lenton Partnership last month to know this. I just want the same level of commitment and service to Lenton and the city from all City Council employees!

'Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, the First lady of France, has been appointed by Gordon Brown to spearhead a government initiative aimed at injecting more style and glamour into British national life'. The Guardian


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