WE'LL HOST BLUE PETER GARDEN, SAY RESIDENTS
People who live in Salford have reacted with horror to the news that the Blue Peter Garden will NOT be moving to Salford Quays when the programme makers come up from London in 2011. “It's a terrific blow,” said local community activist Mike Scantlebury. “Having the garden transfer to Salford was one of the best things about the BBC move.” He says that local people in Ordsall were 'really looking forward to seeing it'.
Mike, Treasurer of Salford Lads Club, said he was amazed that the BBC imagined they could run Blue Peter from Salford without the garden. He was scathing about the plan to make the garden a 'virtual feature' of the new programme. “You can't smell the flowers on a TV screen,” he said.
Residents have decided to club together and offer to host a new garden for Blue Peter in their area of East Salford. They have great experience, they say. In the last month, the New Barracks Housing Co-op entered the 'Britain in Bloom' competition and is hotly tipped to win a major prize. Meanwhile the 'Bee Garden' at the Neighbourhood Centre on Robert Hall Street has won a prize from Salix Homes for 'Community Garden of the Year'. Gail Skelly, Arts Officer and chief gardener, has been approached to transform the 'Bee Garden' into the 'Bee Bee Sea Garden', and has reacted enthusiastically. “We have the skills, we have the space,” she told reporters.
Mike Scantlebury has approached the Ordsall Trust for support. “This shows how out of touch the BBC management really is,” he said today. “Nameless executives in offices in London have made a cost-cutting exercise without consulting any local people.” He said the communities of Salford would feel slighted by the decision, but added that they could be easily motivated to provide a 'neighbourhood' home for a new Blue Peter garden.
“Give us the tools,” he declared, “and the people of Ordsall will do the job.”
The Ordsall Trust website is at: