On reflection I am surprised that it has taken me so long to include a picture of Greenholme School Playing Field, which they bought from Nottinghamshire County Council in 1994 just days before Nottingham became a unitary authority again (in 1974 it lost its county borough status and became part of the county). Local people campaigned to stop the sale, but the Labour controlled county council went ahead with the sale anyway. It should have been returned to Nottingham along with the Sandfield School site (which was). It is a visible reminder of the fact that open space needs protection from all politicians. If the playing field had remained with the city council it could have been put to good use as an additional. much needed, playing area.
Perhaps the fact that land a few yards away at the end of Johnson Road and behind the old Raleigh Cycles Head Office, which became the Lenton Business Centre, was being turned into open space allowed them to believe that it was OK to sell the old Sandfields School Playing Field. As open space the site can best be described as 'sterile' in appearance. There is a poor quality playing area at one end, some neglected ground cover in the middle and a large grass area with signs on the wall at the back of the Lenton Business Centre saying 'No ball games allowed' at the Johnson Road end, which is separated from the open space by a 'Berlin' brick wall.
If this open space was in the Forum's area there would be a campaign to get it improved and lots of trees planted to soften up that ugly wall and, hopefully, the 'no ball games' signs removed. It is amazing what people will put up with. Years of indifference and neglect result in residents accepting what they see and experience as the norm. What concerns residents have are often overwhelmed by a cynicism leading to apathy.
Tomorrow evening I am attending the first meeting of a new Nottingham city-wide 'Open Spaces Forum', so it will be interesting see if other community activists share my concerns about the kind of open space I have been discussing in this blog.
Nepal's Maoist Communist Party will be the largest party in the country's new parliament, winning 220 seats in the 601-member assembly and a third of the 335 seats allocated under proportional representation.