An astonishing £ 57,000 worth of tree pit works – the hole in the ground in which a tree is planted – is being undertaken along Warrington Crescent & Sutherland Avenue, W9 through council ward budgets priorities of the local councillors in Little Venice Ward. One has to ask if this was value for money; were other options investigated and could the money have been better spent on other ward priorities.
Some locals have commented that the costs involved per tree make this a very expensive enterprise. With about 100 pits, it comes out as over £500 per tree pit! One estimate obtained by a local resident suggests it could have been done for £11,000 including installation ( 100 pits, 1 sq metre each, depth of 40mm, brown & 20 m apart ) , as a two day job with six man crew. A marble or glass finish (not brown) would of course be dearer but could have been included. And there could be extras if the site is difficult to access. So clearly Conway are having a laugh with this £57,000 quote for the tree pits. Others go further and suggest that we could have got the local garden centre, Clifton Nurseries to offer better options and probably cheaper as well as a local supplier.
In their local consultation with local residents the choice was between whether the tree pit works were done in red or white. So nothing else was offered other than this colour choice to local residents. Other options like for example doing some guerrilla gardening at the bottom of the tree as has been done along Warwick Avenue were not offered or investigated. Something that would certainly appeal to those more environmental concerned with such matters in the neighbourhood.
As for other priorities, clearly with the murder of a local resident along St Mary’s Terrace at the end of last year, concerns have been raised about the lighting along St Mary’s churchyard passage. Paying for better lighting and CCTV coverage at this location all residents of Little Venice go through would have been a better use of these scare financial resources.
So the tree pit gate scandal illustrates well our sitting councillors in Little Venice priorities when other alternatives existed at probably far lower costs and measures against the fear of crime and making people feel secure in the neighbourhood were not considered at all. l’m just fed up with being lectured about procurement and efficiency by the Council who have rings run round them by contractors.