Wednesday, 3 September 2008

Park delight and a Church Street niggle

I saw this fungi in the park at lunchtime beside a tree stump. It looks unworldy doesn't it? I was bowled over by how beautiful it and the remains of the tree looked together. Once upon a time, when I was at junior school, I would have known the name of this fungi, but not now. I left all that behind when I moved onto secondary school, where there was never anything like a nature club, or a young teacher, Miss Jean Conrad, who befriended me and a couple of other lads, one of whom was Keith Moon, later of The Who.

This picture shows the whole cluster of the fungi around the tree stump. I wonder how many people will walk along the path from the Derby Road to Church Street and not notice this truly beautiful and magical sight within inches of where they are walking. How I love Lenton Recreation Ground when it gives me a high as good as this!

I have lost count of how many times I have contacted Nottingham City Council about the commercial waste bins which permenantly block the pavement or are left in Chruch Street, beside the Bag O'Nails bar. Where the white door on the right of the picture is, there used to be a backyard, but someone in Planning allowed the owner to build an extension (how such decisions are made is making me increasingly suspicious of the planning process, to the point where I cannot believe that such decisions are made unknowingly). In the absence of any action by the City Council, I have reported it to the Fix My Street website at: I first reported the problem via them in March 2007. I await developments with interest.

Today, Susan and I saw a lady with a child and a pushchair have to cross the road because she couldn't get through, but, hey, if a car had swung in from Lenton Boulevard and hit them, the City Council would not have cared. I would love them to prove me wrong by taking action and getting the commercial waste bins removed, but I am sure I will be writing about this specific problem one year from now!

The City Council talk about 'ensuring that every neighbourhood in the city is a great place to live'. It's welcome talk, but worthless in the absence of action. All they are doing in feeding the cynicism which so many people have about local government. What we need are our own Dunkirk and Lenton ward enforcement officers, who will work under the direction of local residents and not chief officers in thrall to business interests.

Pupils starting secondary school in England this week are expected to be the first cohort legally obliged to stay on in education or training until 17. Legislation is going through parliament to raise the school leaving age to 17 by 2013 and to 18 by 2015.

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