Diary of a Sutton Councillor

Saturday 8th August 10.30am

Meeting about Wallington Library Wall

Cllr. Bailey & I met with Steve Winsor the library manager and Iris Tomlin & Graham Fudge of the Friends of Wallington Library and Gardens to discuss the wall in front of the library entrance. Plants had previously adorned the top of this wall however the plants were regularly vandalised or pulled out, and the planting areas collected litter. As the cost of maintaining the plants was unsustainable for the library it had been decided not to replace the plants and instead board up the indents and cover with bark chippings as a temporary measure. Richard & I were disappointed that this measure was considered necessary and wanted to meet with Mr Winsor & the Friends to see if alternative solutions might be available. Cllr. Bailey suggested robust spiky or spiny plants which may deter vandalism and advised that there was a way of planting using a special fixed mesh which made it extremely difficult for plants to be uprooted. It was agreed that retaining some form of planting would be preferred and investigation into the cost of the mesh would be undertaken. However the necessity and cost of weeding the plants was raised by the Friends who advised that they were already stretched beyond capacity maintaining the library gardens and would find it difficult to find volunteers able to take on any additional responsibility. A compromise was therefore reached whereby only three of the twelve spaces in the wall would be planted.

It was then that I suggested we find something more attractive to do with the remaining spaces. I had the idea of putting in mosaics, perhaps depicting themes related to the library & gardens, and if possible using recycled materials. This idea was greeted enthusiastically and led to discussion about how it might be implemented. It was thought that perhaps local schools would like to take it on as a project, with submissions from each school around a book theme; or perhaps a single school take it on as a business project managing it from start to end. I agreed to look into this in more detail with the possibility of public realm funding being sought to cover the costs. Now I just need to find someone with knowledge of making and fitting mosaics to advise on the practicalities of the project. If anyone has such a contact do please get in touch with me directly.

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September 17, 2009 - Posted by | Meeting

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