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Halesowen councillor turns guerrilla gardener
12:38pm Tuesday 21st August 2012 in News
A PROUD Halesowen councillor was so disgusted by the weed-infested state of the steps leading to the town’s leisure centre he cleared them himself.
Councillor David Vickers became one of a growing number of “guerrilla gardeners” - public-spirited citizens who tidy up overgrown public places.
“They looked disgusting and detracted from the town itself. Quite a lot of people meet there - there are about 14 different clubs that meet with visitors from all over the country.
“It took me a couple of hours and I’ve threatened to do other things but the council officers say they will get it sorted,“ said the Conservative member for Halesowen South.
He added: “I pick up litter every day of the week from somewhere in the town. It’s called pride in Halesowen.”
Cllr Vickers is also pressing the council to take up a resident’s suggestion of sowing wild flowers on roundabouts and along the verges of main routes into the town as an attractive low maintenance option.
Chamber of trade chairman Steve Fitzpatrick took the council’s cabinet member for regeneration Councillor Shaukat Ali on a fact-finding walkabout to highlight the “shabby” state of the town centre last week.
After drawing up a four page wish list of improvements and maintenance work including painting street furniture, weeding pavements and the Husky Dog island, Mr Fitzpatrick is hopeful that some of the jobs will soon be tackled.
“It was a good meeting and he wants to meet again in eight weeks by which time, fingers crossed, some of the work will have been done,” he said.
Halesowen’s inaugural entry into the prestigious Britain in Bloom competition was abandoned this year because of lack of maintenance of the town centre.
Cllr Ali said: “ Halesowen is a very nice town and it is absolutely not shabby. The general appearance is very good and it gives a very good impression.
“There are some works that need doing, such as removing graffiti from the car park, and officers are putting together a list of priorities.”