We have certainly benefitted from using the Freedom of Information Act to tease out information concerning rattlechain that neither the authorities or Rhodia would have made available publicly.
Drawing out information from many national and local authorities can be tiresome, which is why the act should be championed- especially when unpopular decisions are made, or where it is revealed that actions were never officially sanctioned in the first place.
I’m talking here about the mysterious “relocation” of Canada geese from Victoria Park Tipton. My official FOI request has a target date of 15th August, but having made other enquiries, it appears that very few people whom you thought would know something about the real fate of these birds either do not know or claim not to know about this clandestine operation.
I have so far established that the Manager of the Sandwell Valley, to where these birds were supposedly “relocated”, (according to Parks Manager John Satchwell) ,does not know anything about such an operation by the pest control company. Neither does the senior Countryside ranger at Sandwell, The conservation officer at Sandwell (who stated to me that he would not agree with such a cull being undertaken), or many of the rangers and other staff who work in the parks in the borough. One of the main players in The Victoria Park steering group also claims she knew nothing about any proposed cull. You would have thought that some form of chain of communication existed within the council instead of an autocracy- or perhaps not. One has to wonder what “experts” advised Sandwell council about taking such an action- certainly none of the countryside services team it seems.
I have not heard anything back from the parks facilities manager- though there was a similar lack of interest when I suggested and even offered to pay to plant water plants in a couple of the local parks where there was no plant vegetation for wildfowl to eat. This has nothing to do with the Canada geese, but more likely the result of some overzealous daisy cutter in the past nuking the area with pesticides. BAD MANAGEMENT- BLAME IT ON A WILDLIFE SCAPEGOAT LIKE THE GOOSE.
I have contacted Councillor Maria Crompton, Cabinet member for Highways and Environment and have to date had no reply as to what she either knew or knows about this incident under which her portfolio covers- nor any opinion either. I really hope that she did not approve such a drastic and unnecessary action as murdering healthy birds that were doing no harm. Ethnic cleansing of wildlife in order to obtain a silly little green flag is about as perverted as it gets.
The PR signs look ominous. A series of articles in the local rag earlier this week about green flags to lay the paving foundations perhaps for what is to come. They all think people are bloody stupid and can’t see their scheming plans of public manipulation through words and pictures. It used to be the case that local rag challenged those in power at Sandwell council- especially over the fiasco surrounding “the public”. Then came the rumoured “if you don’t start printing good articles about us we’ll start pulling our advertising”. I have a very good source, but of course I will not be revealing it.
Suddenly we had The Public press release stories about “increased visitors at the public” , as the criticism seemed to subside about a gross and utter failure of a council to manage and plan a project that was so bonkers in the first place it defies belief that anyone with a brain could keep pouring money into it – and so it went on with the pink and purple building then turning into a glorified Darby and Joan club that suddenly the old folk of West Brom had nowhere to go – so much for the freedom of the press….
Mind you there appear to be interesting questions emerging about the links between Sandwell College and Sandwell Council. I remember the Sandwell college campus at Wednesbury disappearing under a rather odd cloud. Someone went on a permanent holiday it seems, and never came back. Then it closed.
Sandwell council is an authority in which there is little scrutiny of decisions made. Of 72 Councillors, 70 are now Labour members, including Councillor Crompton who is a parliamentary aid to Adrian Bailey MP for West Bromwich West- in which Victoria park covers. I have known Adrian Bailey for some time as an MP, and he along with Tom Watson have always been supportive of things that swanwatch have done over the years regarding the rescue and campaigning for wildlife. This includes campaigning against wildlife crime and the persecution of wildlife in general- something to which the last Labour Government did some good in trying to combat and should be proud.
But I am afraid this is where it ends and the issue of “native and non-native” is one that this party needs to address if it gets back into power at the next election. They cannot do in power at regional level what they claim to oppose in opposition nationally without looking like complete liars and hypocrites. I will be writing to both these MPS in open letters to be published soon about what appears to have been a cull in Sandwell, a cull of wildlife which Labour would not appear to support according to The Labour Animal Welfare Society, (LAWS). I will be interested to see what their thoughts are.
On page 14 of their recently published report they call for:
“End all government backed culls of wildlife
I could not agree more with their view, but such a cull of Canada geese is exactly the same as the current CONDEM Government have backed against badgers- except without any real “evidence” as for why- except in general terms which can be refuted on every point. There can be no excuses, no “argh buts”, a cull is a cull and anything else is bull. The one thing that cheeses people off most about politicians is the hypocrisy and lies within which they operate.
You either support wildlife and its right to exist, or you support a parks manager who appears to instigate his own personal vendetta against what he believes to be “too many” in a site where he has a vested personal interest- including the value of his own property. Was this declared? Back him, and you are revealed to be wildlife champion dissemblers and you will be our enemies forever. If you support “native species” right to exist over “non-native” you are not on the side of diversity. Time to get off the fence and speak out.