Monty Don takes aim at Westminster bubble as he pleads 'better to have local authorities' on local issues

Monty Don takes aim at Westminster bubble as he pleads 'better to have local authorities' on local issues

Gardener's World star Monty Don opened up about his mental health battle

Lauren Williams

By Lauren Williams

Published: 20/02/2024

- 19:17

Monty Don tends to steer away from the world of politics but has given his opinion on decentralisation in the UK

Gardener's World star Monty Don has weighed in and given his thoughts on how the UK needs to start letting local authorities take control of their regions – rather than London.

Throughout his career, Don has seen how different countries run their smaller towns in order to benefit their environment and use it as an effective way to make change.

This includes Andalusia turning car parks into gardens and Santander’s ancient wetlands being brought back to life.

The horticulturalist recently visited Valencia and learned how plans for a motorway into the city centre were swapped instead for a linear park.

He explained that it was a public uprising and the people who were closest to the city centre denied the movement and petitioned for green space.

Their passion worked as the motorway plans were scrapped and the space was turned into a park with Valencia noting they wanted to be the "greenest city in Europe".

Monty Don

Monty has claimed local authorities should be in charge of their own environmental decisions ​


When discussing why movements like that can’t be fulfilled in the UK, he told Radio Times: "In Spain, they are regional projects. Here, it would be like Newcastle or Manchester deciding to do something.

"I’m all for regional devolution in this country. Instead of everything being controlled from London, you would have, in Cornwall, Cornish ways of managing their coasts or their railways or their environment.

"Surely, it’s so much better to have local authorities dealing with their rivers rather than some kind of central authority which doesn’t seem to work."

Don could pursue his strong opinion on local authorities being given more control as he recently opened up about stepping down from his Gardener’s World gig.

Monty Don

Monty also opened up about his mental health


He admitted leaving the show would be the "logical thing to do" and discussed his journey and battle with depression – something which is helped through his love of horticulture.

Getting worse in the winter, Don noted that he feels "fine" at the moment but strongly noted that he hasn’t been healed and it's an ongoing process.

This isn’t the first time that Don has addressed his potential step away from the BBC show and made his feelings clear about who should replace him in the future.

In a previous interview, he told Jane Garvey and Fi Glover on Times Radio: "If they offered me more then I might take it.

Monty Don

Monty Don made his opinions on local authorities clear


"But I mean, the serious point is I will be 70 in two years' time. Will I want to go on? I like making television programmes, I like writing books."

He added the BBC would have to "think ten times" before hiring a white, middle-class and middle-aged man like him.

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