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Members in North East England may have heard about this story, it's been in the news locally this week. These pictures aren't wonderful, but it's a cause that is very close to my heart
This is Rockcliffe Avenue Communal Garden, in Whitley Bay. North Tyneside Council wants to get rid of it.
The houses on Rockcliffe Avenue back onto a drab, boring street that gives full vehicular access. They face onto a strictly pedestrian-only lane.
About six years ago one of the residents, Mike Kelley, thought it would brighten the lane up a bit if he put a few plant pots along the frontage of his property. The idea spread, other neighbours joined in. This is the result. There's no permanent, rooted planting by the way, these are all neat, tidy pots and hanging baskets. As I think you will see, there's plenty of room for pedestrians, wheelchairs, children.
The garden has turned what was previously a dingy, sometimes vandalised backwater into a place of joy and beauty. It brings people out of their houses and it brings them together. It has won a number of awards including some from the Council that has now decided that it should disappear. It has twice been named North Tyneside in Bloom Community Garden of the Year.
Whitley Bay is not a pretty place, and it has not fared well in recent hard times. It needs all the beauty and optimism that it can muster.
The Council has said that once all this has gone it will allow residents to start again from scratch if they sign up for Council-approved pots, from its own suppliers, at £400 each. I won't comment further on that.
V1 and V2 are details of a special place.
V3 – A Whitley Bay resident picking up details of the campaign to keep the garden, and V4 expressing his feelings on the matter. We met a number of residents, they are not giving in easily.
V5 – Mike Kelley, originator of the garden, retired Royal Marine and Army Staff Sergeant, a strong character. I think the Council has a fight on its hands...
There is an online petition in support of the garden here. (I've checked that it's OK to give the link.)
Thanks for looking,
Moira

Brand:NIKON CORPORATION
Camera:Nikon D90 Check out Nikon Nation!
Lens:16.0-85.0 mm f/3.5-5.6
Recording media:RAW (digital)
Date Taken:20 Jun 2013 - 12:57 PM
Focal Length:24mm
Lens Max Aperture:f/4.0
Aperture:f/6.3
Shutter Speed:1/50sec
Exposure Comp:0.0
ISO:200
Exposure Mode:Shutter speed priority AE
Metering Mode:Multi-segment
Flash:No Flash
White Balance:Auto
Title:Community matters
Username:mrswoolybill mrswoolybill
Uploaded:21 Jun 2013 - 7:55 AM
Tags:Community photography, Flowers & plants, Photo journalism
Votes:61
Variant - ReportVariant - Report

Comments

andylea
andylea  637 forum posts United Kingdom1 Constructive Critique Points
21 Jun 2013 - 8:02 AM

it needs to be kept special moira Wink
andy

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flowerpower59
flowerpower59 e2 Member 1flowerpower59 vcard United Kingdom
21 Jun 2013 - 8:06 AM

Excellent Moira. I have just signed the petition and left my thoughts. What is wrong with Local Authorities? I didn't see the TV coverage. What justification did they give for their heavy-handed, petty and irrational behaviour?

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widtink
widtink  2406 forum posts Scotland2 Constructive Critique Points
21 Jun 2013 - 8:07 AM

Thats a disgrace Moira bloody cooncils . Very wortwhile cause so well done SmileSmileSmile

Rod

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NaturesHaven
NaturesHaven e2 Member 3260 forum postsNaturesHaven vcard England5 Constructive Critique Points
21 Jun 2013 - 8:19 AM

I read about this...............Boo to the council...........it's all down to POWER...............I hope the people give the council a stiff two - finger salute, the residents did a marvellous job and the area looks so much better............and according to reports anti - social behaviour has fallen..........I'd call that a result and everybody benefits..........GrinGrinGrinGrinGrinGrinGrinGrin

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nonur
nonur e2 Member 6nonur vcard Turkey8 Constructive Critique Points
21 Jun 2013 - 8:21 AM

That's marvellous, Moira. I don't know if it counts, but I signed the petition. Great shots, by the way. Thank you for sharing!

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Nigeve1
Nigeve1 e2 Member 1920 forum postsNigeve1 vcard United Kingdom95 Constructive Critique Points
21 Jun 2013 - 8:22 AM

Typicaly outrageous and irrational council decision, it never ceases to amaze me the calibre of individuals whom are payed from the public purse to sit on endless committees to come up with rediculous decisions and edicts like this.

Nigel

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cats_123
cats_123 e2 Member 104250 forum postscats_123 vcard Northern Ireland25 Constructive Critique Points
21 Jun 2013 - 8:28 AM

Words fail me!SadSadSad

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franken
franken e2 Member 123270 forum postsfranken vcard Wales4 Constructive Critique Points
21 Jun 2013 - 8:34 AM

Another case of out of touch councils Moira.

I've signed the petition.

Ken

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jaktis
jaktis e2 Member 1082 forum postsjaktis vcard Sweden
21 Jun 2013 - 8:37 AM

I hope for the best

Peter

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mrswoolybill
mrswoolybill Critique Team 8529 forum postsmrswoolybill vcard United Kingdom1094 Constructive Critique Points
21 Jun 2013 - 8:59 AM


Quote: What is wrong with Local Authorities? I didn't see the TV coverage. What justification did they give for their heavy-handed, petty and irrational behaviour?

As I understand it, allegedly someone in the town complained and the Council 'had a duty to investigate'.
Their first pronouncement was based on access concerns, the pots could get in pedestrians' way. (So they want them to be replaced with their own bigger ones...)
When it was pointed out that two wheelchairs can easily pass each other here they cited 'Elf 'n' Safety. Someone could trip over those pots. As indeed they could in any park, garden, patio...
Then it was the need for insurance cover. Well an insurance company has offered that at a very reasonable rate.
Now there needs to be a public consultation.
I get the impression that it's down to the obsession with uniformity, every street floral display should look the same; and with some local authorities, once a process starts there's no way of stopping it, it gathers its own momentum. Plus of course there are the £400 pots that they'd like to sell.
Cheers everyone. I'll pass this link on to Mike Kelley.
By the way, this sort of issue really does bring out the fighting spirit in the British I think. I could practically hear the sound of pitchforks being sharpened.
Moira

Last Modified By mrswoolybill at 21 Jun 2013 - 9:04 AM

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richmowil
richmowil e2 Member 5279 forum postsrichmowil vcard England1 Constructive Critique Points
21 Jun 2013 - 9:45 AM

People who take pride in where they live should be applauded and supported!! This is a perfect example of why there is a need to reform local government to bring back common sense to the systems/people who govern and influence our lives!!

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boov
boov  2 United Kingdom
21 Jun 2013 - 10:07 AM

Great series....

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ChiliMan
ChiliMan e2 Member 8135 forum postsChiliMan vcard Singapore17 Constructive Critique Points
21 Jun 2013 - 10:25 AM


Quote: The Council has said that once all this has gone it will allow residents to start again from scratch if they sign up for Council-approved pots, from its own suppliers, at £400 each.

I don't understand this. This is nothing but blatant bullying and daylight extortion. And since this is a Council plan, does this mean the British government won't do anything? I mean, does this mean the people of this beautiful place have no one to turn to? I don't know how things work but it is really upsetting to think that the Council can get away with this sort of barbarism. What the hell is happening to the world?? Honestly...

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ChiliMan
ChiliMan e2 Member 8135 forum postsChiliMan vcard Singapore17 Constructive Critique Points
21 Jun 2013 - 10:42 AM

I've just signed the petition and I'm gonna try to garner more signatures.

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whatriveristhis
whatriveristhis e2 Member 167 forum postswhatriveristhis vcard England79 Constructive Critique Points
21 Jun 2013 - 11:09 AM

Good for you, Moira. We had a slightly similar run-in with 'City Hall' on the small estate where I live. On a very much smaller scale though- we simply ignored them and they eventually went away.
I'll sign.


Alan

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TrevBatWCC
TrevBatWCC e2 Member 6TrevBatWCC vcard England8 Constructive Critique Points
21 Jun 2013 - 11:17 AM

Well, you can't have residents doing their own thing, and not complying with the Council can you? Sad It's a pity they've nothing better to concern themselves with...
These are wonderful pictures, Moira, and you've captured very nicely the work put in by the residents. And I just love that ornament in V1! Wink

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mrswoolybill
mrswoolybill Critique Team 8529 forum postsmrswoolybill vcard United Kingdom1094 Constructive Critique Points
21 Jun 2013 - 11:29 AM

Thanks again everyone. I'll keep you posted as to any further developments here.
I was going to put a wider view of the street as the lead image. But I think the ornament in V1 sums up rather nicely what the place is about. Having somewhere pleasant to sit and relax out of doors.
Moir

Last Modified By mrswoolybill at 21 Jun 2013 - 11:29 AM

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widtink
widtink  2406 forum posts Scotland2 Constructive Critique Points
21 Jun 2013 - 11:34 AM

That can be priceless actuallyGrinGrin Grin GOMOGO Wink

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mauriceegan
21 Jun 2013 - 11:50 AM

Good on you Moira, this is clearly a case of bureaucracy gone mad and you have to smell a rat with the £400 for new pots, I wonder who will get that contract, the cynic in me is working overtime
Maurice

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Joline
Joline e2 Member 8Joline vcard United States52 Constructive Critique Points
21 Jun 2013 - 11:51 AM

What is the disease that politicians seem to get...I think it greeditis!
I hope the people prevail and protect their well conceived beautification process. I'll sign the petition, but they probably will discount it as I'm a Yank....it would be good for them to know they have drawn the attention from the world though. Thanks to the international friendship of EPZ.

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Joline
Joline e2 Member 8Joline vcard United States52 Constructive Critique Points
21 Jun 2013 - 12:02 PM

I have posted this to facebook with a plea for people from all over to sign this petition. I hope it draws the attention of the world. Such efforts should be applauded, not thwarted.

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mrswoolybill
mrswoolybill Critique Team 8529 forum postsmrswoolybill vcard United Kingdom1094 Constructive Critique Points
21 Jun 2013 - 12:12 PM

Cheers, Joline. I gather that signatures are coming in from all over the world.
Moira

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Lynniesefforts
Lynniesefforts e2 Member 3Lynniesefforts vcard Australia
21 Jun 2013 - 12:16 PM

Even tho I am on Oz , have signed the petition Moira, with my reasons for doing so...damned Councils, really !!!!! SadSadSadSad Good luck with it, and wonderful pics...and Mike looks like a lovely bloke..GrinGrin

Lynette GrinGrin

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Fefe
Fefe e2 Member 3Fefe vcard United Kingdom30 Constructive Critique Points
21 Jun 2013 - 12:22 PM

I have signed Moira.....
Its a bloomin outrageTongueTongueTongue
Diane

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SlowSong
SlowSong e2 Member 64838 forum postsSlowSong vcard England29 Constructive Critique Points
21 Jun 2013 - 12:41 PM

Oh yes, I did read this story - with mounting outrage. Do humans, any with an iota of sense, work on councils these days? It appears not.
Signed.

Last Modified By SlowSong at 21 Jun 2013 - 12:44 PM

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WhiteRose1
WhiteRose1 e2 Member 41122 forum postsWhiteRose1 vcard England137 Constructive Critique Points
21 Jun 2013 - 1:23 PM

Signed! Looks a lovely snicket, Moira.

Dave

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taggart
taggart e2 Member 1042 forum poststaggart vcard United States12 Constructive Critique Points
21 Jun 2013 - 1:56 PM

They should leave it alone and give this place a prize!

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Scottishlandscapes
Scottishlandscapes e2 Member 1068 forum postsScottishlandscapes vcard Scotland35 Constructive Critique Points
21 Jun 2013 - 4:39 PM

How petty can Council officialdom get?
It beggars belief. "I don't believe it" as someone famously said.

Dougie

Red cars should never park beside blue cars and white cars should always park on the left hand side of the street.

As a matter of interest in Glasgow today I spotted lovely new white lines being painted on streets with huge potholes.
Officialdom is alive and living down your street too.

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CarolG
CarolG e2 Member 8147 forum postsCarolG vcard Greece18 Constructive Critique Points
21 Jun 2013 - 5:01 PM

Have signed, Moira, hope they get enough signatures. Carol

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saltireblue
saltireblue Site Moderator 44301 forum postssaltireblue vcard Norway26 Constructive Critique Points
21 Jun 2013 - 5:19 PM

Councillors and politicians.

I have always maintained that any individual expressing a desire to become a councillor or politician should be automatically barred from holding any form of public office. All perks and expenses should be done away with.

Minimum expenses for necessary things can be granted against receipts. No attendance money just for turning up at a meeting. Etc., etc., etc.

They forget that they are elected to represent the people, and listen to the wishes of the people...I'll stop before I have a blood pressure problem.

Moira, I sincerely hope that mind over matter prevails here - the people have a mind and the councillors don't matter.
Petition signed, needless to say.

Malc

...oh, not bad images as wellGrin

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AnnChown
AnnChown e2 Member 5192 forum postsAnnChown vcard United Kingdom1 Constructive Critique Points
21 Jun 2013 - 5:25 PM

Oh for goodness sake! Words fail me - I'm off to sign up! Can't say more as I'd have to resort to 'bad language' and name calling! Shame Pete got rid of that angry emoticon.
Ann

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Nikonuser1
Nikonuser1 e2 Member 2Nikonuser1 vcard United Kingdom10 Constructive Critique Points
21 Jun 2013 - 5:29 PM

What up with the authorities? I saw this reported on the news, words fail me!!!!!!!!!!!


Cliff

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ChiliMan
ChiliMan e2 Member 8135 forum postsChiliMan vcard Singapore17 Constructive Critique Points
21 Jun 2013 - 5:39 PM

Found an email from Mike (not sure if it is a form letter but it doesn't matter anyway) thanking me and telling me how I can spread the word on Facebook by clicking on a link he gave me. I don't really do Facebook and haven't been in in yonks but what the hey, every bit counts! I only have a few contacts there but I'm sure they can spread it to their contacts and so on. Let's hope all this works! So very happy if it does.

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lifesnapper
lifesnapper e2 Member 8lifesnapper vcard England1 Constructive Critique Points
21 Jun 2013 - 7:42 PM

V1 is just SOOOOOOOOOO chill out Moira.

John Smile

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LynneJoyce
LynneJoyce e2 Member 6LynneJoyce vcard United Kingdom99 Constructive Critique Points
21 Jun 2013 - 11:14 PM

Petition duly signed. Thanks for bringing this to our attention . I trust that V1 is a portrait of the campaign organiser.

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helenlinda
helenlinda e2 Member 7338 forum postshelenlinda vcard United Kingdom21 Constructive Critique Points
22 Jun 2013 - 10:09 AM

A worthy cause to back Moira- have signed the petition
Terrific set of images SmileSmile
Helen

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Joline
Joline e2 Member 8Joline vcard United States52 Constructive Critique Points
22 Jun 2013 - 12:01 PM

Please let us know the progress or otherwise of this situation. I hope for the best.

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LexEquine
LexEquine  8 United States19 Constructive Critique Points
22 Jun 2013 - 7:19 PM

Superb & well Composed Image Set, Moira ~ Smile

Ciao ~ Pietro

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Mavis
Mavis e2 Member 12143 forum postsMavis vcard England2 Constructive Critique Points
22 Jun 2013 - 8:03 PM

Surprising what people can do when they all pull together. You have shown us this side way with all the beauty that has made it a better place to be. The Council surely don't think anyone can afford £400 , do they ?

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pamelajean
pamelajean Critique Team 8831 forum postspamelajean vcard United Kingdom1638 Constructive Critique Points
22 Jun 2013 - 9:09 PM

Keep up the good work, Moira!!!!!
Have signed.

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annettep38
annettep38 e2 Member 3188 forum postsannettep38 vcard France32 Constructive Critique Points
23 Jun 2013 - 1:33 PM

fight the concrete and tarmac! Wish you luck!!
A friend of mine, obviously slightly bitten by the Land Rover bug, suggested on the village council of the remotest place in the Ardennes you can imagine that to slow down the traffic, we'd better get rid of the tarmac. And every person living on this stretch of road should plant something in front of her/his house. He was wrongly accused to be slightly biased towards green lanes but a green lane was exactly what he wanted.
He lost regarding the tarmac, but they did plant lots of stuff and now it is the greenest little village you can imagine.

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Glostopcat
Glostopcat e2 Member 8247 forum postsGlostopcat vcard England2 Constructive Critique Points
28 Jun 2013 - 6:01 PM

A top rant from Malc and I agree with what has been said. I hope you got the required number of signatures

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