Slow progress


Christmas is coming….and the council are getting fat

In August I reported on the fact that despite handing in a petition at the start of the year concerning the geese and the council’s future actions, that they had not responded to the points that I had been asked to put in writing by new interim Parks and countryside manager, (aka Satchwell’s mopper upper) Max Cookson. These were made at a meeting of The Cabinet petitions advisory committee meeting of May 18th.

When querying the fact that he had not responded, I was contacted by him asking me to meet with him to discuss the issues. I made it clear that from past experience that this would not be acceptable as only a recorded written response would be acceptable, based on the lies and misinformation of his predecessor. No written response= future deniability of ever making a statement. That has been the Sandwell way for too long, and it is not one that should continue.


It is difficult to understand that as the interim manager, he is not clued up on this issue having had several months to digest it, as well as what the situation is in parks re cleaning around the poolside edge.

I subsequently received notice that the petition would be considered “closed” given that we had previously submitted a different petition that had “addressed” these issues.





But they haven’t have they? The petition was about Sandwell’s ground care strategy and how this is crucial to managing the parks and also the council’s issues surrounding the birds.

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If the council continue to fail to deal with ground care issues they could be the author of their own destiny as well as that of the geese in claiming that “non-lethal methods of controlling goose numbers were unsuccessful”. This also applies to egg pricking which we again have to take their word for,(or their contractors) is occurring. We already know they aren’t exactly the most truthful of characters. Do they potentially earn more for egg pricking, or more for the task of killing adult birds?

The minutes of the meeting were recorded below for the record and I attempted to make this point to the now chair of this committee Cllr Dave Hossell. I’m not sure however if the matter is fully understood by him, given he has just been pushed straight into a very big pool at the deep end. Skip to around the 26.15  mark on the link below.




At the commencement of the meeting, the ombudsman report which has now been officially reported in the Express and Star article “At Last!  Truth on parks goose cull”, was mentioned by myself. It was clear that he had had no prior knowledge of this or the outcome which is relevant to the matter in hand. The Ombudsman report would have been received by Sandwell Council at the same time that I received it in late October, so I consider it a little strange that it has not as yet found its way to the cabinet member to whom the issue is most relevant!


There again, that is Sandwell council for you.

I did agree to meet with Max Cookson and Cllr Hossell, but only if the matter could be recorded for future reference. Sandwell do have a clear problem with recording matters such as this, so it is something which I believe to be necessary going forward.





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