Garden ‘disgrace’ outside Sheffield library

Juia Small in the overgrown library gardens at Manor Top, Sheffield.
Juia Small in the overgrown library gardens at Manor Top, Sheffield.
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Library gardens which were revamped in a project costing £16,000 have been left an ‘overgrown mess’ because there are not volunteers to look after them.

There is just one person lending a hand to keep the raised beds and flowers tidy outside Manor Library, Manor Top.

Julia Small, who lives next door to the library, said: “The current state of the gardens is a disgrace.

“Before the raised beds were created, there were trees which had been there for many years and had lovely blossom, and grass.

“I objected when it was changed, saying it wouldn’t be maintained.

“But the council went ahead and removed all the trees. New trees were planted, along with raised beds filled with herbs and a seating area.

“Not much maintenance has taken place and it now looks like an eyesore - it’s an overgrown mess.”

Sheffield Council said the gardens cost £16,000 to build and are part of the City Road Walking Trail, which has involved other environmental upgrades and cost a total of £45,000.

Funding came from a government grant.

A Sheffield Council spokesman said: “The grant included one year of maintenance, and thereafter it was expected from the consultation with the local community that volunteers would help maintain the gardens.

“While this worked for a short period, there is now only one volunteer who helps keep the gardens tidy.

“The library service is now re-negotiating the maintenance contract with our parks department to ensure there is a basic level of maintenance, and that plants that are grown are low maintenance.

“The overall annual grounds maintenance budget is in the region of £1,800 for an area of this size.”

Coun Mazher Iqbal, council cabinet member for communities, said: “Once the new maintenance contract is in place we’ll see an improvement in Manor Gardens and they will be looked after on a regular basis. We’d still like to hear from volunteers.”