What planet does the council live on?

The borough council recently advertised for a new parking manager. Part of the job’s stated requirements are:

To which we say, wouldn’t it be better to look for someone who has the ability to improve Main Square car park stairwells, including getting the s**t off the walls? That doesn’t need “entrepreneurial thinking”, but it does need someone who will tackle filth.

As we’ve written so often before, if only council personnel had to use the town-centre car parks, they might appreciate how off-putting the stairs are – for visitors and residents alike. But the council offices have their own car park, of course, so their users don’t have to suffer.

Post gone astray

The borough council recently reported that the post supporting one of the barriers across the entrance to the High Street had been pulled out on Wednesday night. We went and had a look at the aftermath. The post hadn’t been pulled out, but its support had broken off. What looked like a substantial circular post is actually just a thin metal tube which seems to have only penetrated the ground an inch or so. The real support came from a square cross-section steel post inside the tube. And it’s pretty obvious that most of the steel post was broken quite a while ago – much of the break is very rusty, and only a fraction of it is shiny, consistent with a recent failure. We guess that the support was almost completely snapped when the barrier was hit a few years ago, and that it would have taken relatively little to finish the job.

Only a fraction of the break in the square post is shiny and new

The probability is that the damage wasn’t caused by determined vandalism, but by a bit of tom-foolery. That’s no excuse, but it’s not quite so annoying.

Just a hole where the post used to be

Two opportunities in one

Red Robin has flowered splendidly this year – as our photo outside Park Gate at the top of Park Street shows. But our photo is also an opportunity to comment that the conical bollard by the entrance to the service area has been in the wars yet again.

We’re still puzzled that this happens so often, now that there are no large stores using that area now. Does the Cabin have large delivery trucks to keep it supplied? Given the ‘lean’ of the bollard, it’s been struck by a vehicle leaving the service area.

That didn’t last long!

You may remember the discussion in the Eye recently about the new tarmac that covered the filled-in excavation outside the ‘new build’ on the corner of the High Street. Was it just a cheap and nasty way of finishing the job, or was it a sensible interim measure, waiting for the ground to settle before reinstating stone blocks? What no-one suggested was that it wasn’t going to last long anyway – the filled-in excavation was re-excavated a few days ago!

It’s a conspiracy!

We wrote the following a week or two ago, but didn’t get around to publishing it. But, if you read to the end, you’ll see that we’ve missed the boat.


We have no idea why this exit/entrance to the Square is ‘permanently’ closed. Can anyone enlighten us? It’s not as if work is continuously underway (though, ironically, a day or so after we took this photo, work WAS underway to replace some of the ceiling panels and to upgrade the lights with energy-efficient LED replacements.


Yes, after months of closure, the entrance has been re-opened, just to spite the Eye! That will please the staff in Gascoigne Pees, who must have been fed up with people asking them how they can get into the Square.

Just making sure…

A Certificate of Lawfulness of Existing Development was submitted a little while ago to obtain “confirmation that planning permission 18/0613 dated 4th May 2020 has been lawfully implemented”.

The background is that five years ago a planning application was submitted to redevelop most of the area in our photograph. The council refused the application, but it was subsequently allowed after appeal to the Planning Inspectorate. One condition was that work should start within three years of the grant of permission – which was dated 4th May 2020.

You can understand why the need to check. The application included photographs of demolished garages on the site to establish that work started a while ago.