Long Term, do we want to work with local councils

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Long Term, do we want to work with local councils
« on: December 19, 2008, 11:43:43 AM »
I'm all for guerrilla gardening as change takes so long to happen.

However, is the long term aim to actually get councils to allow volunteers to do gardening or do we always see a need for guerrilla gardening?

Should the long term unemployed or people found guilty of petty crimes be doing this work in the long term?
In this health-and-safety sue-everyone world is this impossible?

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cannonsblazing

Re: Long Term, do we want to work with local councils
« Reply #1 on: December 30, 2008, 06:46:14 PM »
Sure, it'd be nice if gardening anywhere was allowed... but personally I find that the "forbidden" part makes my life happier :)

Re: Long Term, do we want to work with local councils
« Reply #2 on: December 31, 2008, 10:01:17 AM »
Yes, there's something profoundly satisfying about doing something underhand that is one in the eye for mainstream society - that happens to be constructive and beneficial rather than destructive and harmful.

Re: Long Term, do we want to work with local councils
« Reply #3 on: January 03, 2009, 02:35:54 PM »
I believe it should be up to the local Council to ask something to guerrilla gardeners and not viceversa.
Guerrilleros are more for the action than for the talking anyway...
Though, it is inevitably up to institutions, at least in my country, to give voice to people or not, and then put it into facts.
I wonder if guerrilla gardeners could be considered as local association of people, which could represent some sort of counter part on urban green areas issues, to which local councils could ask for suggestions, approvement, in order to check local consense. That could be a step forward, I believe.

Re: Long Term, do we want to work with local councils
« Reply #4 on: January 05, 2009, 02:00:41 AM »
It would seem to be a question of who works for who. I don't think most elected local officials (or civil servants) have an explicit agenda to attack guerilla gardeners; they don't even we exist for the most part. Well-planted and maintained public areas should be part of local government; we do this as a do-it-yourself project. Rationally they should be glad we do, but life's not always so simple. So yeah, if possible one should work with councils I'd think.

Re: Long Term, do we want to work with local councils
« Reply #5 on: January 12, 2009, 01:29:59 PM »
I think there will always be a need for GG.

However it seems stupid to me that there are a load of old/retired people sat around with nothing to do all day that would love to do a bit of gardening.
I've never heard of a council asking for volunteers.

Re: Long Term, do we want to work with local councils
« Reply #6 on: January 22, 2009, 09:26:09 PM »
One local council near me has been heard saying in very official circles "we hate gardening volunteers" (he was not referring to guerrillas). But don't let that gloomy evidence count for them all. There are places and schemes that use gardeners, councils are just usually fairly uninvolved and leave it to the likes of Groundworks and other not-for-profits. Alongside them there will always be a case for the more informal likes of us guerrilla gardeners - both because of irreconcilable bureaucracy but also because when an opportunity presents itself to a keen gardener it's too tempting to delay action with paperwork and process.

My stance on working with councils is - avoid it unless them come to you - then, try and get permission on your terms and take it. The story of guerrillas in New York is inspiration to me (Chapter 4 of O.G.G. in case you want to know more!  or visit http://www.GreenGuerillas.org) Guerrilla gardening can be a very effective strategy to show a landowner what can be achieved, it's far more powerful than proposals and promises if you can just do it. It has worked for me in one patch now (elsewhere I'm still guerrilla)... though that path-to-permission is a long story, and actually the council (Southwark in London) now insist on charging residents garden maintenance costs (after a brief period of dropping them) even though they're happy to do absolutely nothing there (which I thank them for actually given I'd much rather do the work myself even though me and my neighbours continue to pay thousands of pounds regardless of the officials idleness). Southwark's awful officials and their gruesome deputy leader Kim Humphreys excuse this odd accounting arrangement by claiming our money pays for gardening elsewhere in the borough (perhaps like the ?1m Telly Tubby land built by Martha Schwartz Associates in St Mary's Church Yard)! 

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wag

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Re: Long Term, do we want to work with local councils
« Reply #7 on: January 31, 2009, 01:17:47 PM »
The only problem I have found so far is the fact that most verges and areas near manhole covers and street lamps have been sprayed with long lasting weedkiller by councils, I am not interested with rubbing shoulders with the powers that be, as it is not my style; but this is a BIG issue. It seems like anything we plant wont last for long.

Has anyone overcome this without approaching the council ?

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tampopo

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Long Term, do we want to work with local councils
« Reply #8 on: January 31, 2009, 08:56:51 PM »
yeah, I've done this and the contractor responsible for the landscaping has killed my attempts. It's very disappointing, especially when they leave dock, thistle and dandelion. I haven't approached any local authority or council as of yet...

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wag

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Re: Long Term, do we want to work with local councils
« Reply #9 on: March 13, 2009, 10:01:06 PM »
I was contacted by a community development officer after a discussion I had with a housing officer. He wanted to meet me after hearing about my cause. I explained the issue regards weed killer being sprayed on the verges and my plans to brighten up the area for the community. He is going to discuss this with the contractors and seek funding for my project. If you cant beat them join them. Discuss and promote our cause everywhere you go :)