Name and shame over prize' garden

PUBLISHED: 13:28 11 May 2006 | UPDATED: 14:40 12 May 2010

The sign's missing

The sign's missing

Spring has come, the grass is ris, I wonder how Valerie s prize garden is? A visit to her garden at Russet Way in Melbourn, is an absolute must. With these thoughts in mind I accordingly headed in that direction keen not to miss out on the opportunity to

Spring has come, the grass is ris,

I wonder how Valerie's prize garden is?

A visit to her garden at Russet Way in Melbourn, is an absolute must.

With these thoughts in mind I accordingly headed in that direction keen not to miss out on the opportunity to give my cameras a run through before fulfilling assignments at this weekend's Malvern Spring Show and Chelsea the week after next.

Shock, horror. Despite the missing street sign, I knew that I had come to the right house, but where was the £1,000 prize-winning garden which South Cambridgeshire District Council's member Valerie Truman was supposedly presented with almost a year ago?

An elder tree is beginning to grow at the base of the one-time street sign and there were a few more dandelions in flower. Otherwise the area looked no different to when I photographed it a year ago ready for a picture record.

The fact is that although she was given the award of a garden make-over for the work she does looking after the elderly in her village, her prize garden just hasn't been constructed and planted.

A further extraordinary fact is that Cllr Truman, the manager of Melbourn's mobile warden scheme is older than a number of the elderly people she looks after, and yet in this instance she has not been given the attention which should have been the outcome of this award.

Hardly a day goes by without some award or other being publicised by the media. Most weeks of the year are given publicity titles. As time goes on the more obscure these awards become. Often they are as unknown as those who receive them.

Yes this is all very grand. The recipient enjoys a brief moment of glory, photographs are taken for the record, some of which appear in print. The organisers and others involved give themselves a pat on the back having hopefully enhanced their public image. The sponsors hand over the money. In the case of this elderly public spirited lady all has apparently been forgotten.

Valerie has contacted those who are behind this veneer of respectability to make them aware that if no further action has taken place this during this week's Compost Awareness Week, she is, to use her own words, "going public".

I believe the media expression is "name and shame".

The plight of the elderly is good for publicity, so how about an award for patience or reticence.

It is people like Valerie Truman on call 24-hours of the day looking after the welfare of the elderly who are an essential part of the village scene.

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