Friday, 15 July 2011


At the risk of sounding like the little boy who told the emperor that he was stark b*ll*ck naked, I am now going risk cries of "shame on you" by pouring scorn on one area of Northampton Borough Councils activities which is universally praised and feted by all three political parties at the Guildhall.

Of course I refer to Northampton in Bloom, isn't it fine, isn't it grand, the best display in all the land!

They clearly see something that I don't!

I am not in anyway against the competition, in fact if you do your homework you will find that the Borough Council entered the competition every year when I was Chair of Environment Services in the early 1990's and like the present day we won our fair share of awards, but then again you always do, and if you don't they will make one up for you just to keep you coming back to enter next year, how about "Gold Certificate in the Large Town category for Town's beginning and ending in the Letter N award! or the Platinum plate for the East Midlands Market Towns population 200,000-210,000 category?

My gripes against the current  awards are many and varied, but for starters lets look at what happened in the early 1990's and match that against what happens now. Then the Councils own gardening staff worked all year round at our own plant Nursery in Cliftonville to provide plants for the bespoke planting of raised beds and roundabouts and also planted displays in our  parks, cared for by our own grounds maintenance staff in order to provide a display for judging  that was unique to any other entrant. Nowadays the Council but in a selection of off the shelf tubs, hanging baskets, and roadside boxes full of almost painted on petunias and begonias all with a ridiculously short growth cycle to add a pretence of colour to a backdrop which for the other 10 months of years looks drab and grey.

It's another example of thier B&Q society I guess, all right I know we all do it..... go down to B&Q and but all the pre planted tubs for the Garden on the day of the BBQ, but shouldn't we expect a bit more originality from the Council

I travel a lot around the UK and Northampton's current display is all too familiar, its as if they want to match the chain stores and traders in turning every high street in Britain into one soulless lookalike landscape, and  I guess the judges must also get fed up of seeing these same old green plastic boxes hanging off of very similar traffic barriers and the familiar upstanding tubs craftily placed to trip up every blind resident in every town and city in Britain.

Even worse though is the way that the Council treat the community entrants in this charade. Our proud guerrilla gardeners in Spring Boroughs took to making the most of the land after the Council had failed miserably for years to maintain it themselves, even though they were paying a contractor out of our council tax to do it. And then when they showed the Council whats possible if you try the Council respond by popping the Mayor and Portfolio holder down for a Photo Call in order to pull the wool over the judges eyes in pretending that this community spirited enterprise was all their idea in the first place! And then when the judges are all gone they start charging the volunteers to tip garden waste which they themselves should have been clearing up in the first place!

So in honour of our Borough Councils gallantless efforts and also with grateful thanks to a few of my FACEBOOK friends who have posted pictures of their street scenes in July 2011 I am proud to present this years inaugural entrants for the


This prestigious prize will be awarded to the Borough Council by yours truly along with a framed photo of the winning entrant.


To enter your street just send me photo of your neglected greenscape, in order to remind our elected councillors that whilst they continue to congratulate themselves on the displays of Pansies outside the Guildhall, and pat each other on the back for passing off the communities work as their own, that the rest of us are having to put up with the same old cr*p out on the estates, which now threatens to get worse under our new friends Enterprise PLC They should all be so Blooming proud of themselves.



  1. I am not about to cry "shame on you" (much) Tony.

    I see your gripe, and sort of agree.

    The trouble is mate, it is making you sound like that negative person some others make you out to be.

    It is ver easy to see the worst this town (and life) has to offer, it is also very easy to moan about it.

    The "bloom" is not as good as it used to be, there isn't as many people doing it as there used to be... I agree. However all those people need paying, what do we pay them with? What do we cut to pay them?

    Do we get rid of things like the pride of lions? (or whatever it will be next year) If you say yes, great. But you lose something that the majority of people loved seeing. It made people smile and come to town. Isn't that what we are trying to do, make people come to this town?

    Do you scrap any planned renovation work? Isn't that part of the problem too? Things get old and tired looking (bit like me and thee) and they need to be looked after, or it will end up needing so much work doing to it; it will end up looking like those in the pictures above.

    What about putting up taxes then to pay for all this work? But when people are losing their jobs and unable to find work, people will not be able to afford that will they?

    (I think I made a point there)

    At the end of the day, everything seems to need doing; we need people to come here... and want to stay! Businesses and people. And simply put, if it looks cr*p then they won't.

    My folks won't come into town because they say it is dirty, expensive and too many "kids" about intimadating them.

    They find MK better. If you cannot change the minds of people like my folks; and there are many of them, there is no point in trying to get big businesses to come here.

    They will be no point to any developement to the Saints or Cobblers, if no one wants to come here. Because if you get the ASDA etc up at Sixfields/St. James, people will go there and not come to town... if they take away all the things that make it look good; then what?

    A town no one wants to live, work or go to...

    And before you tell me I know nothing, I might not know about politics. I might not be as old or wise as you. BUT... I know what I see. I am the one that comes into town every week, because I have nowhere else to go! I am the one who longs to see someone, anyone fight to save the town ~ why isn't it you Tony?

  2. Nicky, it's easy for people to accuse those of us willing to tell the truth of being negative, after all they have so much invested in believing their own propaganda.

    But my point is why spend money on the luxeries when you can't even get the basics right?

    What good is it that we win a certificate from Britain in Bloom if your estates looks like those pictures above?

    My other point is that if we still ad an in house workforce and our own nursery then this would be a matter of civic pride not just a few pansies in pots the same as every other town that entered.

    No rat catcher? But we an spend a fortune on tubs and we want the Lions back? It's living in a bubble, and sums up the attitude of so many.

    The town is a lot more than simply the town centre and I would rather be truthful as to what our priorities are rather than pretending the suns shining when everyone hasbthier brollies up..

    So how about cutting the grass and weeds on the estates and having a few less tubs and stop entering competitions that everyone wins until we have something special or unique to display?

  3. Mate, we are agreeing with each other again!

    I disagree in part though, regardless of if "everyone" wins an award or just a "select few;" it is still nice to win; but also take part.

    For example. I am not the first or last member of St. John to get a shiny service medal. Does that make it less important to me? No, it IS an acheievement. Because everyone who stays in St. John for over 12 years gets one, should that mean I should not want one or be happy that I have one?

    I agree that it would be nice to have areas like those in the pictures sorted, but in the end I guess it all comes down to money doesn't it?

    All I see is people not wanting to come here, stay here or live here. Is it being negative or is it being honest? Surely it isn't wrong to want better?

    (And just incase you think I'm moaning at you ~ you need a bloody party man! As much of a superman as you are, even you cannot run a cabinet alone!)




Blog Archive

Thank You

Thank you for visiting "tonyclarkegreenparty" The views expressed here are mine and mine alone. They are made by me personally in my own capacity as free citizen and not as representative of any outside body or council that I may serve on or be employed by. However if anyone is offended by any of these comments or feels that they should be corrected then please contact me in the first instance at and I will do my best to consider your comments and correct any errors.


100 key seats 1980's 1997 2013 50th Birthday 96 Abington Park absent parents abuse Academy Status Adam Simmonds Adam Simmonds. Police and Crime Commisioner Northamptonshire. Class A drugs Adam Simmonds. Police commisioner. Northamptonshire County Council Afghanistan Afro Caribbean Agent airbrushed for change airlines Al Quida Aldi allowances AlQuida Anarchist ANC Andrew Mitchell animated fairy story Anjona Roy Ann Frank Ann Timson Apathy Arab League Council Archway cottages Arms raid arrears. Northamptonshire race Equality Council Ashes to Ashes Ask a Socialist astragate Asylum seekers Audit Baathe Party bamboo joint Banana Banker barbecue tax Bashar Assad bbc BBC radio 4 Bedroom Tax Benefits benito mussolini Benjamin Netanyahu Big Freeze Big Society Billy Bragg Binners Birds black and white cats Black Swans Blair blogger blogs Blood Blowing smoke up your skirt Blue Light Services BNI BNP boardroom buffoons Bone marrow Boris Johnson borough council boot and shoe borough council elections Borough Solicitor BP Bradlaugh Brian Binley Brian Hoare brighton Britain in Bloom British Government broken britain Brown Pelican Bryn Estyn Children's Home budget cuts Bulgarian Bullingdon Club Burglars Bus Interchange Bus Station Bush businesmen Cabinet Call in campaigning Cannes canvassers capitalism Captain Ska Car Park Revenue car parks career wreckers carillion carlisle Carrillion CASPAR Castle Ward Castle Ward 2 Catherine Tate CDC censorship Census 2011 change Charity Commision cheating cheats chicago Chicago Fruit Police Chickens Child Abuse China Chloe Smith Chris Grayling Christmas Christopher Myers chronicle and echo Clement Attlee Cllr Andrew Simpson Cllr Andy Mercer cllr Bill Parker Cllr Brian Hoare Cllr Brian Markham Cllr David Mackintosh Cllr David Palethorpe Cllr David Perkins Cllr Dennis Meredith Cllr Elizabeth Gowen Cllr Gareth Eales Cllr Jean Hawkins Cllr Jim Harker Cllr Jim Harker Road Safety Cllr John Caswell cllr John Yates Cllr Malcolm Mildren Cllr PD Varnsverry Cllr portia wilson Cllr Richard Church Cllr Robin Brown Cllr Sally Beardsworth cllr Scott Collins Cllr Tony Buckley cllr Tony Clarke Cllr Tony Woods Cllr Trini Crake Clr David Perkins Clyde Loakes Coalition government cobblers combustion committee places Community Basher conference 2013 Conservative Conservative Party Conservatives consumption Contracts Corby corporate fools corporate spin corrupt Council Council tenants councy council County Council Election county council elections CPS credit crunch crime Crimea cuts CWU Daily Mail daniel hannan mep. NHS Daventry District Council David Cameron David Harvey David Perkins. Brenden Glynane David Ross day fotlu DDC debt decent homes Defend Council Housing Delapre Abbey democracy wreckers destruction disaster DIT Britain Dostiyo Dot Cotton Duckenfield Duckinfield Ealing Council Earworm Community East Midlands in Bloom East Midlands Labour Party easy read economy Ed Balls Ed Millaband Ed Milliband education election Elections 2013 Electoral iregularity Ellis Island email Emilie Oldknow Emily Oldknow Empowerment fund Enterprise Enterprise Managed Services Environment Agency Eric Pickles ester ranzen EU euro European parliament expelled F W De Clerk F*ck you facebook FAir is worth fighting for Fairground ducks Fairytale of New York Far Right fire Fish MArket Fitzy fixed penalty notice Flashman Floods Florence and the Machine flytipping Fountain free Friends of Delapre Abbey Full Council Gaddafi Gang Culture Gaza GDP general election Geoff Howes George Bush George Bush Jr George Osborne George Osbourne Germany Glasgow mosque GMB Golden Handshake google gordon brown government Government Cuts Grant Shapps greed Greedy Bankers Greek economy Green Green Party Greyfriars growth 1980's Guantanaomo Bay. Shaker Aamer Guernsey Harry Enfield Havelock Havildar Gaje Ghale haymarket Hazel Blears health Helicoptors Help the aged highways Hillsborough hoodies hope not hate House of Commons House of Lords Housing Housing numbers Housing. eviction human rights Ian Gibson IDF il duce Immigration imprint Independent Independent Green Independent Network independents India Injunction inquiry international internet Iran Iraq Iraq war ISIS Islamaphobia Israel Italy IVA jedward Jeremy Clarkson jerk chicken Jihadists Jimmy Carr Jimmy Saville jingles Joe Joyce John Dickie john gardner John Lennon Johnston Press Journalists justice justice for the 96 KBC Ken Livingstone Kevin Quigley Khudadad Khan KPMG Kraken Kurdistan La Madala Labour Labour Group Labour Party Lady Wantage Lampedusa Land Tax Lansbury last of the summer wine Leadership election league two Learning difficulty Learning Disability Lebanon Lee Barron leeds Legal and General Liar Liar Lib Dem Liberal Democrat Liberal Democrats Liberals Libya libya. david cameron Likely lads Lily allen Liverpool lloyd grossman local candidates local governance local government Local Government Association local press localism bill Loft insullation London Labour London Olympics london riots Loo of the year Lord Mandelson Lord Michael Ashcroft Lord Stuart-Smith Lord Taylor Lord Waterhouse LSE Mackenzie mad as a box of frogs Madiba Mahmoud Abbass Malcolm Mildren Margaret Thatcher Market Square Market Square Fountain Market Trader Martyn Gilleard martyrs May 2ns Medhi Hussein media Michael Ellis Michael Foot Michael Turner QC Micheal Ellis MP micheal martin Middle Classes Middle East migrants Mike Ferrigan Milk Snatcher millions Miserable old sod mk dons mortgages MP's Expenses mps expenses Multi Agency Group Muslim community Narrowboats Nasseem Nicholas Taleb Nathan Worrell National Debt national front Nato Nazis. EU NBC NCC Neil Lewington Neil Magregor NEL. MIPIM Nelson Mandela Neo Nazis NEP New Statesman New Year NHS Nick Clegg nick clegg.norman clegg Nick Griffin Niel Kinnock NNDC NNJPU Noor Inyat Khan North Wales Police Northampton Northampton Borough Council Northampton Chronicle and Echo Northampton Conservatives Northampton Independent group northampton independent voice Northampton Labour Party Northampton Labour Party. Northampton Borough Council Northampton Liberal Democrats Northampton Saints Northampton South Northampton South Conservatives Northampton Town Football Club Northamptonshire County Council Northamptonshire County Council Elections Northamptonshire Enterprise Limited Northamptonshire Enterprise Partnership Northamptonshire Music Service Northamptonshire Police Norwich North not all party's are the same ntfc Number 10 Observer Oil Old Labour Oliver Tambos Paddy Tipping MP pakistan Palais de Festival Palestine Parish Poll. Police Commissioner Elections parking parking services parliament parsons Party Political Broadcast Paul Blantern Paul Varnsverry PCC Pegasus Penalty Charge Notices pensioners pest control pest express Peter Mandelson Peter Righton pfi phillip mears photos for all occasions Pinky and Perky Plain English planning police Police and crime Commissioner Police Commisioners Police Commissioner elections political Polycythemia Pope Francis poplar porkie pies President Obama privatisation Professor Pongoo proportionality public consultation public deficit Public Service cuts purdah que sara sara Racism Radio 4 rats Rebekah Brooks reccession Recycling referendum refuse collection regional labour party relegation Rememberence Sunday residents parking retail Richard Hannon right wing riots Robert Cottage Romanian roofing RPA act RSA Rushden Sainsburys Sally Keeble Sam King Scrutiny Seb Coe Second Life Shame on you shameless Shami Chakrabarti Sheltered Housing Shire shirkers Shona Deans Messinger silver medal Simon Cox Simon Williams Skateboarders skivers. scroungers Slipping back in time SNC Snow Spad speaker spies spring boroughs Spring Boroughs Residents squandering St Andrews st andrews road St James Stagecoach stagnation standard and poors standards board stealth tax Stephen Pound MP. Jeffrey Archer Steptoe and Son Steve Messham Stock Market street lights supergran suspended Syria Taliban Tax Evasion tax the rich tea team GB Terry Waite Tescos Tess Scott Thatcher The Cobblers The Conservative Party The Green 'Un The Green PArty The Press The Queen The Report The Ridings The Saints the story of broke the story of change the story of stuff The Sun through the keyhole ticckle Till Death do us part" Tom Watson MP Tony Blair Tony Clarke Tony Clarke MP Tony Woods Tory Tory Government Tory Party Tory's town centre trade unions Trees Trevor Kavanagh TTIP TUC Trident Tuck Inn TVC E-coli and coliforms tweets twitter UAF UK debt UK floods UK Government UK riots UKIP UKIP. Green Party UKIP. Labour Party Ukraine Ulric Cross ULT UN unemployment union flag unitary authorities unitary government Unite against Facism United Learning Trust united nations Unity College Upper class USA usual channels Vara Varnsverry. Guildhall vat Virtual vlog vote Walter Tull Waltham Forest Wardens watchdog WDC Welfare welfare cuts west northamptonshire joint planning unit Westbridge Westminster Weston Favell School what's the point of Nick Clegg wicked William Hague window dressing winter wonderland witch hunt WNDC WNJPU workers Working Class working mens clubs workshy written questions WWII youth services