Saturday, March 28, 2009

War of the Roses?

A small grassed area in Laurel Close has proved to be contentious after Council workers moved in to dig it up in readiness to plant rose bushes.
Some residents, who want it kept as grass for the Close's small children to safely play on, were infuriated by the council's actions.
Louise Sutherland was among those who objected. Her children are among those who happily play there and, as Louise is blind, she says it's even more important that she can hear them playing safely close to home.
The council said the diggers had been sent in following complaints about children playing. The grass had been temporarily reinstated after Mrs Sutherland raised her objections.
Mrs Sutherland said the saga dates from 2006, when a poisonous bush was removed from the area and residents were allowed to grass the patch over. Her husband regularly mowed it and it became a popular place for toddlers to play safely. That prompted Louise to refuse requests to plant bushes there as part of the town's Saltburn in Bloom effort and she was told that nothing would be done to the grassed area without proper consultation.
" If people didn't want it, I'd have to accept that, but we should at least be properly asked our opinion. I don't think it's been handled very democratically".
Mrs Sutherland added: "If it's a choice between rose bushes and flowers or a safe environment for our children to play, I know what I'd choose."
A Redcar and Cleveland Council spokesperson said: "We have received complaints from some residents regarding the use of the area by children for playing. In direct response to this we began to prepare the area for planting. We have now made the decision to stop the preparation of the area and return it to its previous state so that further consultation with all residents can take place."

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