Sunday, 05 December 2021

Bloom chairman in row over community garden

Bloom chairman in row over community garden

THE chairman of Henley in Bloom has defended the lack of progress on a new community garden.

David Eggleton was accused of not listening to feedback about the garden on the Gainsborough estate near the “pram walk”.

Catherine Notaras told a meeting of the town council’s Henley in Bloom committee that residents had been consulted by Paula Isaac, vice-chairman of the Gainsborough Residents’ Association, on what they wanted in the garden but no work had been done.

But Councillor Eggleton, who chairs the association, said he worked with the community and no one was stopping residents from planting up and maintaining the land, which is owned by Soha Housing.

Ms Notaras, who lives in Elizabeth Road, said: “Paula Isaac was very concerned that the residents wouldn’t get what they wanted and would be left out of the planning and maintenance of it and I agree. They deserve something nice up there but that hasn’t happened.

“The residents have been consulted and came back with their ideas and they would like a community herb garden or fruit tree or something to encourage insects.”

Cllr Eggleton, who also chairs the committee, said: “You’re making out that nothing has happened but I’ve done a lot of work and it’s normally down to me and Paula. Even if we involved the community it’s normally still down to us.

“We can put herbs in there but we can’t put trees there as it’s next to an electrical compound. Cats also get in there a lot so I wouldn’t want to be eating any herbs from there as they use it as a litter tray.

“The association does work with the community and if anyone wants to go down there and put in some herbs and wild flowers they can, we’re not stopping them.”

Ms Notaras said the residents still needed to be set off “in the right direction” so the job was done “right”.

She added: “I’m not making an issue about it and I shouldn’t be told that I should go up there and dig it myself. I’m glad you’re going to take it into your hands so when is it going to be done? Don’t try to make an argument about it.”

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