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36 Bangla Post 17 March - 23 March, 2017

News

Meath Gardens grassroots movement branches out with 70 new trees Meath Gardens in Mile End has received a fantastic green boost thanks to the heroic efforts of park users who planted 70 new trees – in one day! The planting, which was organised by the Friends of Meath Gardens , took place on 4 March, and was made possible by the generous donation of the trees by Pavegen Live. Volunteers were joined on the day by council staff and ward councillors Sirajul Islam and Amy Whitelock Gibbs. Cllr Sirajul Islam, Statutory Deputy Mayor of Tower Hamlets and Cabinet Member for Housing said: “Meath Gardens is a much loved local green space and provides an invaluable space for local people to meet, relax or take part in sporting activities. “It was great to see so many local people of all ages come together in a positive group effort to plant the trees. Their hard work and effort on the day was backed up with a real sense of community pride in improving our shared local environment. “Events such as these provide a positive demonstration of how the council can work together with local Friends of Parks groups, park users and the wider community to maintain and enhance our fantastic local green spaces.” Thirty native species of trees were planted next to the railway to create a natural sound and pollution barrier, as well as a green corridor

linking Mile End Park. Other zones include the creation of an orchard next to the allotments, with seven crab apple tress which will provide much needed food for wildlife, and beautiful flowers in Spring. Five English Oaks and other major

species were also added to the park. Meath Gardens is situated on the opposite side of Regent’s Canal from Mile End Park, near the junction with Roman Road. Among its many facilities are children’s playgrounds (for ages up to

four and five-year-olds upwards). There is also a multi-use games areas, alongside specific pitches and courts for football and basketball. The council has announced £1m of investment for green spaces across the borough in recognition

of the huge part they play in the local community. For the first time last year the park successfully achieved Green Flag status. This achievement took the number of council-run Green Flag parks up to ten – the highest number ever. As part of its successful Green Flag status, the park has to show continuing commitment to environmental responsibility, horticultural management and community participation. Joanna Milewska, landscape architect responsible for the design of the planting and founding member of Friends of the Meath Gardens said: “The event was a wonderful example of cooperation between council and local groups bringing community together, creating sense of belonging, learning new skills, helping to enhance biodiversity, and beautifying this little piece of forgotten green land.” “Creating different zones and habitats will significantly enrich the wildlife and attract different types of singing birds to our park. Some of the small trees like native wild cherry and rowan will provide natural source of food for them. “We’ve already received many positive comments from local residents and others who came to the event.” You can find the Friends of Meath Gardens on their Facebook page, search for @friendsofmeathgardens

Council shines in national awards Tower Hamlets Council was nominated for five awards at the prestigious Local Government Chronicle Awards (LGC) this year and was commended for its mental health services. The LGC were particularly impressed that the council had taken steps to ensure residents with long term mental health issues could continue to live close to their family and community networks and live well independently. NHS data showed that Tower Hamlets was in the top quartile nationally for the number of placements made into residential care in 2008/09. More than 90 per cent of the placements were in residen-

tial care homes outside the borough. With the introduction of its Mental Health Accommodation Strategy, the council, working in partnership with mental health providers, supported service users to live in residential accommodation in an independent setting, as close as possible to their home and community. Reducing the number of out of borough care placements and associated costs achieved savings of £6.5m during the life of the project and the work was used as a best practice case study in the World Federation for Mental Health (WFMH) World Mental Health Day 2014 publication ‘Living

with Schizophrenia.’ Mayor of Tower Hamlets, John Biggs said: “Five nominations for LGC awards is a fantastic achievement. “We are committed to delivering excellent services for our residents across the council and improving services wherever possible.” Cllr Amy Whitelock Gibbs, cabinet member for Adult Services added: “I am really pleased the work of our staff has been recognised at the LGC’s national awards ceremony. “Our Mental Health Accommodation Strategy has dramatically improved the health and wellbeing of residents.”

Bangla Post- Issue 669, Date 17 03 2017  

Bangla Post- Issue 669, Date 17 03 2017

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