Wednesday, 6 February 2008

Peaceful, sunny but cold!

At 3.30 today I had an appointment with Terry, who lives near the cemetery, and Jean English, StEds Parks Manager:

Terry had previously contacted me about his concerns, particularly inconsiderate (and often unnecessary) parking close to people's graves:

This photo was taken in December, but now there are some posts alongside parts of the road to deter this kind of thing. Jean has also agreed to review signing, if only to guide vehicles out easily even though they probably shouldn't be there.

I had cycled there (and its a long way up from the Lark valley) and was glad to get into the warmer Borough Offices for my 5pm meeting!


Bury Girl said...


Anonymous said...


Bury Boy said...

Why do we allow cars into the area?
In the past people had respect for the departed, and parked outside on the ample road side.
Close the gates or reduce the gap. The next thing we will know people will be parking there and walking into town or work.

Paul F said...

I hope not BB. The new wooden posts along the side of the road (installed since the photo was taken) are very effective.

The problem is that the roadside is not "ample" any more, but full of parked cars. And the elderly (frequent visitors) and disabled would not be very pleased if they couldn't get in: it's a long way to the centre from either entrance.

Bury Boy said...

Its always been a long way to the centre Paul. I dont beleive the site has changed for 50 plus years. It never stopped our parents, grand parents or grat grand parents, from walking or parking near by. I know my parents walk to pay their respect each week from the other side of town.

If there is no longer amble parking on a sunday. Ask your self why, could it be the foolish and low revenue council policy of charging for car parking on a Sunday. Or the fact that we have a car parking problem which the entire council wish to ignore ?

Paul F said...

As Abbeygate ward member I have always disagreed with Sunday charging, and was the only one to speak out against it two years ago when it was first proposed.

See (cut and paste):

One of my reasons (not reported here) was the inevitable displacement of cars from car parks to roadsides. In your own case cars that used to park free in the Manor House/Record Office park are now inclined to park outside your house.

I reminded councillors of my still held view when I generally supported increased charges in cabinet recently.

The parking "problem" is a societal/evolutionary problem. What could the council do that it isn't doing already?

Bury Boy said...

Shared Space.
Co Ordinated transport policy.
Free Parking on Sundays. funded by one over head cut in council staff.
Park and Ride.
(Gosh I sound like Hoffy).

Consider the effect if every increase to the local tax payer had to be balanced with a labour over head cut. Ask your self how many years it would be before we broke even. Stop Increses, reduce over head, a simple business concept, which seems to have been missed.

Our council is top heavy with Managers, earning very good packages, on the premise these are needed to attrach the best. Well in all honesty we dont have the best, Its a easy ride, and just a little to comfortable (IMO). There is a ample labourbase and talent base living locally and able to provide a good job based on local knowledge. They are not accountable to any " small group of persons" who can cut their number or expense,. rant over.

Paul F said...

The only one of your ideas that would improve the parking problem is Park & Ride, which is currently being experimented and researched. To say shared space will help is nonsense. If not, please explain how slowing traffic will help parking.

As for our excellent staff, we are already saving about £350,000 next year in staffing.

BTW watch out for a relevant announcement on Tuesday...

Bury Boy said...

Nonsense paul ?
As you would expect i dont agree, I suggest closer attention to Hoffys country paper, or some simple common sense may be in order.

If shared space existed it also includes local parking, one could also point out that as it slows traffic, this in turn reduces the numbers wishing to drive in the centre,seeking alternatives.

Nonsense is a strong phase, and one you can not back I suspect with Facts, just opinion. To dismiss it so easily is also a concern.

£350,000 thats peanuts in comparision to the revenue expected from council tax increases.

Paul F said...

BB - I have taken the liberty of moderating your comments as I don't wish this blog to be used to discuss my personal circumstances. But rather than just delete your reply I have left most of it as it deserves a response.

I'm sorry if the word "nonsense" seemed too dismissive, but there doesn't seem to me to be any sense in claiming that shared space creats more parking - whatever its otheer merits. Give me an example in Bury.

I agree that it can slow vehicles and, as you say, deter traffic from the area (not necessarily a popular move) causing congestion elsewhere - it wont make people go on a bus except park and ride for those who like it.

As for "peanuts", thanks from all the staff at StEds for your support for them.

As you are keen on facts, let me end with some:

1. You and I pay just under £3.20 per week council tax to St Edmundsbury for all its services. I doubt we could get our rubbish collected privately for that amount, never mind maintain all our buildings, parks and other facilities and services.

If that were to go up by the current rate of inflation (RPI 4% in December) that would be just over 12p per week extra. But the government have only given us an average of 1.4% each year for the next three years' grant. We also have to find about £300,000 next year in unfunded government demands, like concessionary fares.

So really we should have to raise council tax by much more than 4% - but the government won't let us go above 5% (16p per week for you and me). We have therefore had to find £917,000 in savings instead, thanks to our excellent staff.

If you don't believe these facts Colin, go and ask for a copy of next Monday's Cabinet agenda papers from Angel Hill reception, or find them on line from early next week.

Sorry for the long reply - which I don't really have time for with my workload this weekend (inc dealing with residents concerns about illegal parking and a planning issue which needed careful studying, etc) but I thought your comment deserved detailed facts.

Hope you have a good Sunday - wherever you are!