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Guerrilla Gardening

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Saturday 29 August 2009 7.30pm
Thought fellow SE1ers may be interested to see some of the shots I took on the Guerilla Gardening walk this afternoon.

Beautiful day for it, really interesting stuff. And sad to hear Southwark Council casting aspersions on it.

Saturday 29 August 2009 11.47pm
Lovely pictures, Exigo. I often stop to admire the little garden outside Perronet House by the bus stops at the Elephant, and the sunflowers on the roundabouts have been lovely to see. What did Southwark Council say about it?
Sunday 30 August 2009 11.47am
Southwark Council charge residents more than 4000 a year for grounds maintenance around Perronet House even though they have agreed to do nothing here and have belatedly permitted my gardening activity in this specific location (though they offer no support - Margaret O'Brien, Southwark's Head of Housing Management just periodically sends me aggressive and misspelled letters accusing me of various crimes which a couple of infamous residents here make up for their own amusement!) Southwark's justification for the fraudulent charge are that they classify Perronet House as part of The Gaywood Estate and claim the charge is for maintenance there. This is daft. The Gaywood Estate is several streets away, shares no other costs with us nor a TRA. (Bizarrely they also classify Perronet House as part of Bermondsey, though few residents of Southwark would see SE1 6JS as there either!)

We are all the more frustrated because their decision to charge us was a u-turn on their agreement in 2007. After guerrilla gardening around Perronet House since 2004 I sought permission in summer 2007. After a bit of argy bargy they refunded us all for that period (nearly 150) and agreed not to charge again (detailed in the final chapter of my book ON GUERRILLA GARDENING). Sadly, since October 2008 Margaret O'Brien and Cllr Kim Humphreys have led a bloody minded and successful campaign to have that decision reversed, so we now reluctantly pay. At least they let me garden though - it would be worse if they insisted they did that too!

For now the issue festers with residents as unresolved, and it worries me that this attitude is evidence of institutional mismanagement and dogged corruption. I see evidence in almost every dealing I have with the farcically incompetent Borough and Bankside Housing Office for whom the expression 'couldn't organise a piss up in a brewery' was probably invented. Our bigger issues are now Margaret O'Brien's chaotic management of the proposed (excessive) fire safety modifications to this building and her team's reckless disturbance and disposal of asbestos ceiling tiles during the process - so far she has insufficiently answered complaints about this! Compared with this nightmare paying the council to do nothing in our flowerbeds is far preferable!

(Follow more guerrilla gardening goings on at
Sunday 30 August 2009 12.12pm
Perronetonian wrote:
..... (Bizarly they also classify Perronet House as part of Bermondsey, though few residents of Southwark would see SE1 6JS as there either!).....

somewhat off topic, but you may be interested to know that the Draper Estate down the road is also classified as Bermondsey by Southwark Council when it comes to service charges.
I'm always somewhat flabbergasted when I see Bermondsey and Elephant and Castle in the same address...
Sunday 30 August 2009 12.45pm
Great pic's.

On a positive note, I've seen a few small areas at the foot of the flats on ?Hankey, Staple, Law, Pardoner? streets (I get mixed up with the street names - but it's somewhere around there) which residents appear to have annexed for veg growing. They look great.

...if you press it, they will come.
Monday 31 August 2009 9.08am
Enjoyed the link to the Maurice Maggi film. The concept of 'flower graffiti' has mileage and certainly in the area around the Tate, where they are talking of a green corridor I can see scope for action.

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