Sunday, November 18, 2012

Local 'guerrilla garden' removed - update

This local issue has attracted quite a bit of attention in my own Ward this past week ... the removal of a 'guerrilla garden'?

I've actually been cycling past the very location, as its been developing, for several weeks now --- I have to admit, with the site being on the canal-side, it never once crossed my mind that it was Council-owned land as I (wrongly) assumed it would belong to Scottish Waterways.

It wasn't until this Thursday (the day of the story linked here) that I discovered it was Council-owned land, and that the site had already been removed/cleared.
Having been prompted by a bit of a twitter-storm on my feed (a much more common-occurrence for me these days, it has to be said!) I promised to investigate and report back ...

... well, without going into every detail of the lengthy e-mail chain(s) I now have on the subject, it can probably be best summarised as follows:
  • this was an uncultivated strip of land along the canal side
  • there was no permission for any garden to be constructed
  • but, that said, it didn't appear to be causing any harm or offence
  • yet, several complaints were received by the Council about its presence
  • Council Officers were thus made aware of its exact siting
  • not known (I believe?) to the 'gardeners' was the fact that the piece of land had already been allocated for the siting of a picnic bench etc.
  • when this was communicated to them, there appeared to be a willingness to re-locate the 'garden' to another, mutually-agreed location
  • unfortunately, the 'garden' was removed before this dialogue has reached a conclusion
  • senior Council staff have since apologised for the manner in which the garden was removed and offered to ensure a mutually-agreed, alternative location is found in the local area
  • as best I can establish, this site-search is still underway
So - classic communication problems, exacerbating an already complex situation ... not great; Council staff have apologised and a new site is hopefully in the offing.

I'd hope some longer-term good can come out of the whole episode - but then I am the eternal optimist.

I'll blog on this again when I hear of definite developments on a new site.


Unknown said...

I think that councils in particular suffer from a left-hand not knowing what the right-hand is doing problem.

Apart from the ongoing garden discussions do you think a wider internal communications review is needed re these types of decisions?

Andrew said...


You could very well have a point there! Will give it some serious thought.