'Green' city wages bush war
Sunday 29 August 1993
Manchester city council has introduced a virtual ban on new planting and begun an elaborate programme of clearing away shrubs.
Thousands of plants have been removed from the city centre. Hawthorn bushes have been cut from an urban clearway leading to the M56, leaving weeds to grow in their place. The peace park near the town hall, created in the 1970s as a 'nuclear-free zone', has been stripped of shrubs and awaits coverage with turf and trees.
Graham Stringer, leader of the Labour-controlled city council, says the shrubs trap litter, including syringes and needles discarded by drug users, and offer cover for criminals. He said: 'I've been ripping up a lot - but not enough. They're all over the place, creating health hazards and doing nothing. I hope we'll rip out a lot more.'
Mr Stringer, 43, wants to wrest control from landscape architects who he says failed to appreciate the maintenance costs of their schemes.
He accuses Manchester's own Landscape Section of a desire to 'suburbanise' the city centre with shrubs. By removing them, he believes he is reducing the risk to council workers of injury.
Ian Fisher, a city architect now lecturing at Manchester Metropolitan University, said: 'Some of the planting dating from the 1960s and 70s wasn't well chosen and there was a maintenance problem. But a city of Manchester's stature deserves a more sophisticated approach than ripping out all the planting.'
A council spokesman said that people had expressed concern at the shrubs' disappearance but now they seemed reassured. 'We did have inquiries from people who thought that the whole of the area was going to become barren. But others said they were delighted.'
- 1 If you're not already angry about the migrant crisis, here's a history lesson to remind you why you really should be
- 2 David De Gea: Manchester United goalkeeper's £29m move to Real Madrid off - because paperwork 'not done in time'
- 3 Pansexual: What is it - and when did the term gain popularity?
- 4 Netherlands to withdraw food and shelter from failed asylum-seekers after just 'a few weeks'
- 5 Blood Moon and Supermoon: September to bring brightest – and dimmest – full Moon of the year on same night
Bono's group has made more money from Facebook investment than from all his music
Nazi 'gold train': Fire engulfs suspected location of vehicle in Poland
Blood Moon and Supermoon: September to bring brightest – and dimmest – full Moon of the year on same night
Isis releases graphic video showing four Shia 'spies' being burned alive in Anbar, Iraq
A Chinese journalist has appeared on state television 'confessing' to causing the stock market chaos
Climate change: 2015 will be the hottest year on record 'by a mile', experts say
Jeremy Corbyn calls Osama bin Laden's killing a 'tragedy' - but was it taken out of context?
Tony Blair attacks Jeremy Corbyn's 'Alice In Wonderland' politics
Theresa May says migrants should be banned from entering the UK unless they have jobs lined up
Iain Duncan Smith 'should resign over disability benefit death figures', says Jeremy Corbyn
UN investigating British Government over human rights abuses caused by IDS welfare reforms
£18 - 23k + Bonus + Benefits: Guru Careers: A Junior Artworker / Junior Mac Ar...
£16 - 18k: Guru Careers: A Trainee Installation Engineer / Field Service Engin...
£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This leading provider of financ...
£22000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Approved NICEIC contractor is l...