Healthy battle-bus in Camberley

Healthwatch Surrey visited Camberley’s Park Street yesterday.  Quote:

“We are an independent organisation that gives the people of Surrey a voice to improve and shape services and help them get the best out of health and social care services.”

Find out more at http://www.healthwatchsurrey.co.uk/  (There’s no point in repeating here what you can read on that website.)

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OK, just a little bit more about cycles

We did indicate that we’d not say anything about the Tour of Britain.  But Keith has sent us a couple of photos of the cyclists in Cumberland Road.  As many watchers were in the town centre, some will have missed the ‘cavalcade’ in full flight.

IMG_0436 IMG_0439But DHVinyl pointed out a sadder and somewhat ironic fact a little while ago.  The cycle shop in Park Street – where so much was happening yesterday – is closing.  Competition from the internet is apparently too great.

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A cycle appearance in Camberley

Once again, the Eye will be outgunned by the long lenses and heavy camera bodies (and in one or two cases, the heavy bodies) of serious photographers.  So no mention of the Tour of Britain here.

But, talking about cycles, this one is frequently visible in Camberley’s Park Street

P1100475It doesn’t look much like a racer.  But it does seem to employ the long-established anti-theft mechanism of unhooking the chain.  Supplemented – it appears – by deflating the rear tyre!  Plus, for good measure, a lock on the rear wheel.  No doubt somebody can tell us more about the cycle’s unusual design.  We guess it’s a continental make.

We beat the borough council by seven years!

The borough council is considering acquiring the old Hoover Spares building in Bissingen Way.  Bissingen Way is the footpath between the High Street and Knoll Road.

P1100749cIn 2007, the council officers recommended approval of a planning application relating to this site for the “Erection of a 2 storey office building with additional accommodation in the roof space together with basement store following demolition of existing single and two storey buildings.”  The planning committee duly approved the application.

There was just one objection to the application.  By yours truly.  This said:

hoover applicationPermission for the new building only expired earlier this year.  Obviously, the work has never been carried out – we guess because of the recession and the general lack of demand for new offices.

But now the council is proposing to acquire the site.  We have no ‘inside information’, but presumably the intention is to gain better rear access to High Street premises.  This would help in pedestrianising the High Street.  (Not that we believe that partial pedestrianisation need wait for such a long-term approach.)

Thank goodness for the recession and the lack of need for new offices.  Otherwise the council would be faced with acquiring a nearly-new and substantial building, and not just a derelict ‘shack’.  Of course, if only the planners had heeded my objection seven years ago, namely that ‘nothing is permitted that could restrict schemes for pedestrianising the High Street’,  they could have positively turned down the new office block, and not relied on market forces to do their work for them!

The pot (AKA ‘the borough council’) calls the kettle (AKA ‘the Eye’) black

The borough council recently wrote that it could not regard the views expressed on the Eye as representative of those of local residents.  This was because, amongst other things, there was no guarantee that such views ‘are from local residents with an appropriate interest’.

Of course, there could be ways round this, though the council has shown no enthusiasm for pursuing them.  However, we do understand that information which the council uses must be representative and reliable.

Except that…

Parking surveyAt the current time, there’s a survey on the council’s own website asking respondents for their preferred way of paying for parking.  There’s no apparent check on whether the respondents live in the borough or whether they even visit the borough, let-alone whether they use the council’s car parks.  There’s no apparent check on whether respondents have completed the survey more than once.  There’s no guarantee that the results will be representative OR reliable!

Is this a case of ‘Do as I tell you, not as I do’?