Ground work to improve Wellington Parade Garden on London Road has been delayed. The city council had planned to start construction this month and follow on with the planting of shrubs and plants in April.
But, Lib Dem councillors Jeremy Hilton and Isabel Brazil have been told that tenders haven’t even been issued for the work. Tenders have been delayed by the city council’s legal services team.
Currently, the garden is closed because it has become a location of problem street drinking. Adults have been drinking alcohol to excess, fighting and arguing between themselves, and using local residents’ front gardens as a toilet. The new garden layout has been designed to be more attractive and to discourage street drinking.
Cllr. Jeremy Hilton (Lib Dem – Kingsholm & Wotton) said: “The delay in construction of the new garden is disappointing, but this is becoming normal with projects run by Gloucester City Council. With so many jobs lost under the Tories’ austerity plan, there are not enough staff to process projects on time. This really is a ‘Vanishing Council’.
“Isabel Brazil and I have worked hard to get an agreement for improvements to this problem garden. We secured funding to enable works to be done, but to be told last week that it is being delayed by the legal services team, is ridiculous. This is not a big project, but the red tape being applied may cost more than the budget for the actual ground work.”
Cllr. Isabel Brazil (Lib Dem – Kingsholm & Wotton) said: “A new Public Space Protection Order banning the drinking of alcohol in public spaces along London Road recently came into force. The second stage of our action plan is a new layout for the garden that should discourage street drinking. The city council needs to get on with this project.”