“You can’t leave everything to the council as far as keeping places tidy. You’ve got to take responsibility for your own little patch, really,” adds another member of the secret garden team, Dave Owens.
Such sentiments are music to the ears of Jim McMahon, Oldham’s Labour council leader.
The council previously enjoyed the sense that it was “big and important, because we ran the place and it was all ours”, Mr McMahon says. “The measure of success used to be ‘how big’s your budget and how many staff do you employ?’ ”
I think Jim McMahon is one of the country’s better council leaders, in part because he appears to recognise the importance of leading and area and a community rather than just a council.