Friday, 13 March 2009

Today's BFP

Pg 1: It's always interesting to know what's missing from or understated in a story. In the case of the taxi drivers, that includes the fact that drivers with 6 points on their licence collected in one year may be suspended pending an assessment of driving skills. (Note the italics and bold.)

Similarly, the various requirements for new (not existing) drivers will only take 'up to eight weeks' if they are met consecutively rather than all tackled at once. The new requirement for a Driving Standards Agency assessment can be substituted with an Institute of Advanced Motoring test or a Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents advanced test.

Pg 2: I'm not sure what the provision of allotments has to do with the borough councillor who has once again managed to get himself pictured by a story, no doubt unsolicitedly (no, I didn't know the adverb exists either). I would expect him to support Bury's council tax only paying for Bury folk's allotments, but the case for not imposing this retrospectively has to be carefully balanced with the demand for allotments. It is an issue the Town Council are responsible for and one we take seriously.

The weight of his otherwise fair argument, that there are plots neglected by town tenants, should diminish once they are paying the real cost of their maintenance instead of the laughable 32p per week. When he was a town councillor (before he chose to stand down in 2007) he too could have pushed for a realistic rent, which might have deterred people from hanging on to latent plots and helped to shorten the waiting list of well over 100 rather sooner. In a letter to the BFP he seemed to oppose a hike in rents, so it's really hard to see where he is coming from.

Still stranger is the fact that he has objected to the Town Council purchasing a particular plot of land which would ease the waiting list, apparently preferring it to go into private ownership. Well, as my late mother would say in her southernised but still faintly detectable Yorkshire accent, "There's nowt s'queer as folk"!

Pg 5: How refreshing to see a positive headline which includes the word 'arc'. We can only hope that this success for all the town's traders continues.

Pg 14: The idea of knocking down Woolworths to provide a new public square again rears it ugly head on the letters pages. Do its proponents not understand what the building let alone the subsequent work would cost? Whoever takes over the Woolworths building will no doubt see the opportunities for improving the existing rear facade and entrance, and more radical development may in more prosperous years be funded by private developers.

Pg 24: It is fascinating to read of Darren and Emma Butler's enterprising foray into the town centre. Having wanted to run a kitchen store in Bury for years, Emma says that the time is right to take advantage of the empty stores, which presumably will have to accept lower rents than before. It's good to see that independents are still coming to Bury.

Have a good weekend readers.

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