Friday, 4 November 2011

Food Miles?

How about food yards?

Not sure where we stand at the moment with allotment provision in Cowling, it seems we are still in the "doing our best" phase.  It's true to say that the Parish Council are very good at doing their best, they have been doing it for well over five years! Despite government guidance on the matter stating that even a failing local authority should go from failure to provide sufficient allotments to an acceptable solution in three years!

But I do find it interesting whenever I look into what doing their best might actually mean.  A strange question to a straightforward statement, you would think.  But a little look at certain claims made versus records kept during this process, suggests otherwise.  

For example, in September we had a piece in the Craven Herald. I found the few words issued by the clerk to be telling.  He went on to list all that had been done by the PC which contrasted somewhat with the answers we got when we questioned them on the subject earlier this year. His claims had now grown to include each of the things WE have presented them with as viable options over the past few months.

Still, they are doing there best aren't they?  Maybe they are, but if they were previously unaware of the obvious avenues we made them aware of (and they publicly claim to now be pursuing) what are the chances of them discovering the equally simple avenues that have not yet been presented to them?

Unfortunately I am unable to say much more.  Under the direction of the Chair, the PC now refuses to communicate directly on the matter. The clerk has difficulty in actually receiving mail that goes through his letterbox. The PC meeting minutes for September remain unavailable in November and anyone unfortunate enough to witness one of these meetings knows that even when the minutes do get published they will bear scant relation (on certain matters) to what actually happens. Still, they are doing their best!

Which is more than can be said for the Allotments Working Group, which has been disowned since it was shown up for the sham that it was.  Three Parish Councillors deciding what's "best" over tea and hobnobs until, hoisted by its own petard, someone joined that wanted to actually DO something about:

A) The poor state of current allotments and their management.
B) The woeful lack of provision suffered in the village.

The Councillors then each resigned from the Working Group, one by one in another dramatic display of "doing ones best" to solve the problems faced by the Parish Council.

As for the statutory claims made for allotments, we have submitted another group of representations. But as I have been reminded by one of the enthusiastic amateurs that we sadly rely on to get an allotment in the village:

"our only statutory obligation is to consider the claim"

Most local authorities, seeing where this argument is headed, avoid it like the plague - God Complex strikes again!

Will Cowling see a solution to the pathetically poor provision suffered for so long in the village? I am beginning to think some people are too busy with other irons in their fires to be able to represent the ALL the villagers of Cowling fairly.

Anyone wanting an allotment in this village should consider making themselves heard loud and clear on this issue.  You have a right to an allotment and your government has been acknowledging the need to improve provision of this community asset for years now. Yet your local representatives in charge of providing allotments, amongst their Duties & Responsibilities; consider that what they are currently failing to provide is "Doing their Best".  It's time to ask them not do their best, but to do what they are there to do!

Do nothing and you can be sure of the results!


No comments:

Post a Comment