24 July 2013
As usual, things have been very busy over the last month but now that some things have happened, I can actually spread the news!
Firstly, regarding the shop, I am waiting to hear about negotiations for extending the lease at least until the end of the year. This, I can’t give you any news about but it has been confirmed that I can have a further 6 week extension which will take it up to 18 September. I am grateful to the Mander Centre for allowing this but hopefully, in the very near future I will receive news of a proper contract.
Secondly, about the organic garden, yesterday I met with the asset transfer and legal department at the council to discuss the lease for the land. Currently, it is still under the management of Wolverhampton Homes and before we can operate freely, we need to have a lease worked out. As is often the case with bureaucracy, it is going to take time to sort out but they are going to try and sort it out so that it fits with the principles that we want to use.
Then, today, I was at the garden (which is continuing to flourish, see the photos below) because we had a visit from the chief executive of the council, Simon Warren, Councillor Mattu and a number of other officials from various departments or organisations. They were very impressed with what we have achieved already and I explained to them the principles behind it: those of creating a resource from nothing, producing healthy food, bringing the community together and that the plans are to expand it across the city. Mr Warren showed his appreciation for this and I felt that he truly believed that we had made something worthwhile happen.
We told him about Timken’s involvement with building the shed and the other people and groups that have shown their support for this project.
I said that I hope that Our Own Future would be able to build a stronger bond with the council for future projects as I wanted to make clear the reasons that I do such things. I also told him about the shop so hopefully he will get a chance to visit that as well.
All in all, it was a very successful event and we hope to have a story in the Express & Star about it this week.
In order: tomatoes, sweetcorn, potatoes and some harvested produce of courgettes, lettuce, cabbage and rhubarb.