Derby News

Recycling under threat

Last night I listened to councillors discuss abandoning recycling on inner city streets.  I was at the Council’s Neighbourhood Overview and Scrutiny Committee, the first committee meeting I’d attended since I stopped being a councillor 3 years ago.

Sadly it was less about how to provide a service to serve the community and the environment, and more about how people couldn’t follow instructions.

There was an officer perception that people were given lots of information and help with recycling, but it was an uphill task that wasn’t working.  Effort has been concentrated on the properties with a high turnover of residents – and there was little or no mention of  long-term residents who would be denied a service.  Political frustration is now driving the proposal.  (I’ve written more about this at ).

Talking to people on the streets (as I did yesterday) there is a wide spread of opinion, from those who are devastated (and helped me deliver leaflets) to those who’d be pleased to return to weekly black bins.  You’d find the same mix of people on streets in Allestree or (even!) Littleover.

What is different is the number of short term lets in these areas, with a high turnover of tenants.  In some areas these are mostly students, in others more often migrants who may have language barriers accessing information. 

Today I have spoken to the President of Derby Uni’s Students Union, and he sees lack of information as the biggest problem.  The Union would provide information on recycling through their Facebook Page and website – if the council gave it to them.

Longer-term residents might also be part of the solution.  I hope that there will be enough support from local people, the Derby Climate Campaign, Lib Dems and others to find solutions that will work for local people – and the environment.

Crich Avenue Trees

In autumn 2012  the City Council removed several cherry trees from Crich Avenue.

Lucy Care asked why this was done, and was told that they were unsafe having fungal fruiting bodies on their bases.  Indeed, at least one of the stumps was rotting.

The trees should be replaced later this winter with new Juneberry trees.  These are a North American species of serviceberry which has white blosson and edible red, then blue berries. 

Some varieties of these can be used for jam or eaten raw, but whether these ones will be pleasant to eat, I don’t know.  It may be like apples grown for eating and crab apple trees being grown for blosson; the fruit may be edible, but not very large or flavoursome.  We’ll have to wait and see!