Blooming Hypocrites

So says an article in the Manchester Evening News (Friday 10th November 2000, page 25) regarding Manchester City Council. This stems (bad pun! - ed) from their use of peat in the hanging baskets for their "Manchester in Bloom", part of the "North West in Bloom" competition, for which they won the "Best Large City" category.

However, by admitting to using a "loam free peat compost" in a letter dated the 3rd October 2000, they failed to remember their commitment, made in 1990, to cease the use of moss peat completely by 1993, for which they also received Manchester Wildlife's "Golden Magpie" award.

So far their excuses have been: (a) "peat used in the cities (sic) displays is not taken from SSSI sites"; (b) "changes of personnel and restructuring of Departments" lead to a failure to communicate messages to changing officers. Nothing to say "sorry, we were wrong, and we'll stop doing it right away" at all.

However, you'll be pleased to know that they "remain committed to the protection of the environment" (the phrase "with friends like them, who needs enemies" suddenly springs to my mind!) They have now "instructed (their) suppliers to conduct a number of trials in the use of alternative mediums". I have pointed out, to save them time, that the late Geoff Hamilton (of BBC Gardeners World fame) carried out extensive trials, the results of which were broadcast on television.

The latest news is that Martin Pagel of the Council is interested in meeting to discuss the issue. Have we managed to worry them?

Anthony Phelps (Manchester Wildlife)


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© Networking Newsletter (Dec 2000)