Saturday, 30 June 2007

This week's BFP letters

I was just about to comment to Ruby on John Griffiths' letter in the BFP and suddenly realised I could comment on more, without going to the trouble of sending a carefully worded letter to Barry Peters. In fact why doesn't someone start a Not-the-BFP-letters-page blog, so that everyone who responds can be heard and come back again and again?

John Griffiths always writes a good letter (I would say that wouldn't I?) and here he makes the same sensible points he made at the council meeting on Tuesday.

M.Asbridge of Queens Close asks a question which is often put to those of us who represent people in conservation areas. Should they have to comply with higher standards of windows and doors in these areas, so that they are indeed conserved? One pensioner in my ward had a bad time trying to renew his front door, and even had to take his door furniture to Western Way to be checked. What do people think?

Simon Harding, a regular contributor, is on about public lavatories again, this time in the Woolwich building. I doubt there would be room for Tourist Information, Shopmobility, Town Centre Management, a council/police information/payments facility as well as loos, as he suggests. However, I am keen to preserve some town centre council access for my electors.

I was very sorry to learn of the death of Peter Drew OBE, to whose widow John Griffiths sent condolences on behalf of the whole council. But talking of regular contributors, I was saddened to read Sir Reginald Harding last week and Anthony Platt CBE this week seeming to use this as an opportunity yet again to knock St Edmundsbury Council and the Cattle Market development.

I was present at all the meetings of the Cattle Market Redevelopment Working Party that Peter attended, and shared with him the aim of digging a larger underground car park. That was not to be, although it must be noted that the administration still had the foresight and willingness to listen to public opinion and add such a car park to the scheme we inherited in 2003.

I do not think it unreasonable that lay members of a committee, who are not bound by the councillors’ strict code of conduct regarding confidentiality, should not receive exempt papers. Peter’s sudden walking out of his last meeting was his way of expressing the contrary view.

Neville Lewis is back on loos and talks of the council's "moronic obsession with money". Well Mr Lewis, it was an attitude going some way as far as that which ensured your last council tax rise was 2.9% - less than inflation. He and Simon Harding can rest assured that if any improvements to what I personally regard as satisfactory current arrangements can be made in a way which is affordable and appropriate, then these will be examined by officers with a view to councillors' consideration.
Any replies???


david said...

A bit introspective but fairly harmless provided everyone remembers that the 'editor' isn't a neutral observer of the local scene.

There are two letters pages this week, one devoted to the Cattle Market.

One the main page, I learned most from the letter written by Joy Blake. Russell Moles is always thought-provoking even if sometimes not always 100% factually accurate. His letters are easy to read and I wish he could find time to write more often.

On the subject of the Cattle Market I was particularly impressed by Fiona Buckley of Combs. It's nice to hear the opinion of someone who doesn't live in Bury but is a regular visitor.

My friend, Karen Baldry, has also contributed, I think for the first time. I'm loathe to disagree as it might result in a good slapping!

Councillor Paul Farmer said...

David - no doubt your reference to Mr Moles' accuracy is his incorrect suspicion that the Borough Council passed on responsibility for street lighting, when I understand it was taken away - a subtle difference, which doesn't help with the graffiti. Good job for a townkeeper?

I had forgotten the other page. I think Fiona Buckley comes close to John Giffiths' and my view, but its interesting to note that there are those like the Baldrys (and another 34% apparently) who want something other than the Cattle Market.

Brian Perrett of Abbeygate has never written a shorter letter.

I have only just noticed a third letters page (page 8) which strangely has no real explanation.

david said...

Only Fiona Buckley knows what she means but I read it that she is advocating starting a local resistance movement - listen very carefully, I will say zis only once - rather than joining the ranks of the 'cheese-eating surrender monkeys'.

The BFP consultation has produced a clear preference for Cattle Market with minor variations such as Old Cattle Market, New Cattle Market & Cattle Market Centre making up much of the remainder.

There don't appear to be any votes for 'arc'. Funny that, isn't it?

Brian Perrett only needed 3 words to state the blindingly obvious name for the development as a whole: The Cattle Market.

21st Century Mummy said...

A letters blog would be a great move and would bring some interesting comment. I'd hate to be the moderator though, it would be like being a ref in a verbal boxing ring. ;-)

Councillor Paul Farmer said...

David - we must ask the BFP to have a vote on capital punishment. 21CM - I suggest an open format where any response to any BFP letter (but nothing else) is allowed. No moderation necessary and Barry could then take his pick.

david said...

Most people will never have heard of Timothy Evans, Derek Bentley or Ruth Ellis, the 3 principal cases leading to the abolition of hanging. All three suffered that fate.

A short presentation - one for, one against - followed by an online vote, might surprise you.