1. ITV Report

How much ??

A plate of tomatoes Photo: Lynn Courtney

People have hidden depths and talents. That's for sure. But who would have suspected that Julie Morgan is a market gardener in her spare time at the Assembly ? Who would have known that she has been sowing seeds and is now proudly tending her first crop of tomatoes on a window box in her office?

Of course the tell tale signs have been there for all to see. If we could peep through the keyhole , there we would see a large bag of compost , seed catalogues , a watering can and Wellington Boots for those quick trips to the spare land adjacent to the Assembly.

Of course, Guerilla Gardening is big in areas like Notting Hill and indeed the ever trendy Shoreditch. But who would have thought it would ever catch on here in Cardiff Bay?

Julie has , of course , been quite low key about her seed habit but all was revealed in the plenary when asking questions of Commissioner Black.

With an air of touching innocence she asked:

What contact has the Assembly Commission had with landlords and organisations close to the Estate?


The Estate ? My ! Clearly now we know the subject that's close to her heart, does this means she's thinking of growing grapes and creating a boutique winery here? But what would it be called? Chateau Morgan ?

Commissioner Black was clearly puzzled about why he was being asked about what contacts he'd been making in the local community but gamely explained that the Commission worked with waterfront partners, Local Government, charity outlets and private businesses operating in the Bay.

But this was not enough to placate Chatelaine Morgan, who pressed on:

Has the Commissioner given consideration to entering into negotiation with owners of empty sites around this building in order to develop food growing projects involving staff and Assembly members , done in partnership with organisations like the Urdd?


Imagine that ! Julie Morgan already has a plan to get Assembly workers and staff to till the fields in their lunch break if she can find a suitable patch of land for the enterprise. But there were more revelations !

I'm already growing tomatoes on windowsills in my room as I know are other members and I know the Commission wants to encourage that sort of thing.


There are others ! And the Commission encourages that type of thing !!?? So now we know far from it just being Julie with this,what can only be described as Secret Life,there are others involved too! I hope that nice Peter Black can do something to stamp this out! Because like Japanese Knotweed, its a practice that could spread! Bring on some sanity,Peter!

Can I commend the member for her activity in growing her tomatoes.I'm sure she'll be offering them around at some future date for us to taste. The issue is one of resources in terms of staff and time available to them,members and anyone else able to undertake this activity.Clearly we have limited green space in the area. While we have a plot of land adjacent to the Senedd it is not owned by the Assembly and we would have to take a judgement if we want staff out there tending their vegetables rather than delivering the services members expect of them.


Commissioner Black has now pledged to take advice on the matter. But,you know,in my quest to uncover further evidence of this racket,I have actually found traces of basil, thyme and parsley growing where you least expect it.Watch out for the green shoots of recovery!