A bitter war of the roses has broken out in the Council House where there is much hot air over the leisure department’s pruning of its park budget for flower beds.
Labour opposition councillors told The Birmingham Post this week that rose beds are being grassed over and have launched their own petition.
The council admitted that they have to trim the rose budget, which currently stands at £53,000, so they are looking for cheaper, less labour-intensive horticulture to fill the void and, yes, grass might be an option in some cases.
So, off to Pype Hayes Park where local Labour councillors Mike Sharpe and Lynda Clinton were photographed looking very sad in front of empty flower beds.
Only they were the wrong flower beds, apparently. Several green-fingered readers, including a gleeful Cabinet member for Leisure, Sport and Culture Martin Mullaney pointed out these were regular flower beds and not the controversial rose beds.
Coun Mullaney said: “The three empty flower beds in Pype Hayes Park that Councillors Sharpe and Clinton are pictured in front of are, in fact, annual flower beds that have been cleared of their summer flowers, ready for planting for next year.
“It shows how little both these councillors know about Pype Hayes Park.”
An angry Sharpe has snapped back saying: “He told me the roses are coming up all over the city. Maybe it is because the public are getting uptight about this that he is backtracking.”
Coun Clinton added: “The park keepers and rangers are telling us a different story.”
Iron Angle suspects this is one row which, unlike the flowers, will not die down this winter.
Members who feel the urge to highlight the latest scene of municipal failure with a photograph for their blog or local newspaper might find themselves appearing on a new website with the wonderful title Glum Councillors
It shows image after image of local elected members pointing into potholes, scowling at broken paving slabs and looking generally miserable at the state of the world in which we live. There is even one sad-looking mayor dressed as a pirate for a fun day.
Birmingham’s leading entry on this website is Brandwood’s leading Labour activist, Mike Leddy. He is seen lamenting the state of one of the most potholed roads in Birmingham.
Mike is happy with his new found fame: “That’s what we are supposed to do – point at things which don’t work and look glum.”