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posted 7 Jun 2011, 23:20 by Tony Carroll   [ updated 8 Jun 2011, 04:22 ]
In front of my house there is a lovely green stretch of grass verge. 

It's lovely because my neighbour mows it more often than I do but since I live around a thousand feet above sea level on the edge of the Peak District hills it's always windy. In fact it's so windy that the handsome cherry blossom trees at the roadside take so much of a pounding that they all lean away from the prevailing south westerly winds and our cherry blossom fell victim. 

Our grass verge is empty. I've been having a chat with the man at the council to get a new tree put in. "Fruit or nut please" I tell him but the answer is a straightforward "no". 

He tells me that there are two problems - money and the police. 

OK, I get the first problem. They are waiting until a new 25 year £2bn highways PFI begins before planting anything new along the roads. That makes sense if you're a council even if it doesn't make much sense otherwise. 

But the police? It turns out that the council won't plant fruit or nut trees any more because they might provide ammunition for children to throw at cars, people and property. WHAT? That must rank up there with some of the all time most useless council excuses for not doing something. 

I'm going to do some of the other kind of digging to find out if this really is a problem or if it's just a figment of the collective council imagination. Watch this space.