The Lavington Green Incident (1)

close up of plant with dead leaves

These are the minutes of interviews of council staff as part of the enquiry into the Lavington Green incident.

Interview #1

  • Subject: Melanie Jensen
  • Role: Customer Services Officer

Can you tell me in your own words what happened when you took the call from Mr Hutchinson.

It was Monday morning - maybe one of the first calls I took. Could be he'd been thinking about it a lot over the weekend, and that's why... Anyway, you've got the recording. He said that he'd noticed the plants on the green, on the edge, just inside the woods. He said they "didn't belong" - he kept saying that. I asked him to describe them, but he said he hadn't looked closely at them, but he knew they "didn't belong". He said they were tallish, grey, and kind of "shabby looking".

I had a look on the website, and there was something about Japanese Knotweed and Giant Hogweed, but he said it wasn't either of those. He just said they were "in the wrong place" and that the council should "do something about it".

I said that I didn't think that it was a council matter, but he kept insisting, so in the end, I said I'd pass it on to - the parks department.

I wasn't aware we had a "parks department".

No. Well - the call was taking up too much time. He seemed to be happy when I said someone would look at it.

So, what did you do next?

I logged it with highways. I thought they could deal with it.

It didn't sound like it was serious.

Thank you, Melanie. We'll be speaking with highways next.

(End of interview)