Thursday, October 21, 2004

Should it be this difficult?

The Nutsford Vale meeting tonight leaves me frustrated.

Whilst we’ve won a further two grants, in one case we’ll only get about two-thirds of the total amount applied. Bearing in mind the funding in question is for providing lockable barriers and chicanes to try and prevent the use of trail bikes on the land, it seems to me to be a little short-sighted to just secure two-thirds of the perimeter.

The local councillor present explains the reasoning behind their decision, which I won’t bore you with, but is all about petty differences and ward politics and does nothing to improve my view of local government.

It’s depressing news too on the much larger issue of the transfer of the management of the Nutsford Vale land. There have been plans mooted for the past 3 or 4 years that management would be transferred to the Forestry Commission’s Red Rose Forest organisation. Apparently however, Nutsford Vale just missed out on the first round of this and there is no information re timing for a second phase.

Whilst, I have grave concerns about the suitability of the Forestry Commission in managing sites in deprived urban areas (don’t get me started on the swathes of hawthorns etc they planted on the land the other year – muggers paradise!), it would at least mean someone was managing the land. This surely would be an improvement on the current neglect by the city council and Greater Manchester Waste who own roughly half the land each.

However, it seems we will continue in this ridiculous limbo for another few years yet. As a community group we are blocked from doing any significant improvements (eg putting in shale paths even!) as it might prejudice future plans, but year on year the proposed transfer of management is deferred.

It’s a constant uphill struggle that is so very tiring. If I weren’t so committed to the belief that the Longsight, Levenshulme and Gorton areas need and deserve this resource fully realised, I would throw in the towel.

No comments: