Jack Wills – stocking up

Walking past the about-to-be Jack Wills shop in Main Square early yesterday evening, we saw that stock was being hung up on rails and laid out on shelves.  So the grand opening must be soon!  We grabbed just a quick photo to record the position

FOOTNOTE.  Because we’ve had complaints about the poor-quality advertisements inserted by others in our blog, we’ve paid good money to get them removed.  We hope the pain is worth the gain!

Car park level 3 without a mark on it!

We took this photo through the wired glass window in a door opening on to level 3 in Main Square car park at the weekend.  (There was no entry through the door while work was underway.)  The picture shows a blemish-free pale-coloured surface, presumably waiting for parking bays and walk-ways to be marked on it.  It looked good.  Let’s hope the whole car park is up and running soon.  Christmas shoppers need it!

Gambling starts small

A few days ago we reported that the council was considering starting a local lottery.  We had some reservations, not on principle, but because some people find it difficult to control their gambling.  But we do want to support initiatives that help good causes.

Simon has commented: “Plenty of evidence to suggest that problem gambling starts small. There’s a seminar led by someone who learned the hard way here in Camberley on 25 October: http://www.stpaulscamberley.org.uk/whats-on/special-events/speakers-corner/

We don’t know what the seminar will cover.  But maybe the council executive should pop along to St Pauls and take part before making any decision.  It would only mean a delay of ten days or so and could lead to a more robust outcome.

New bus stops

Oops – we first posted this on Sunday, but it was meant for Monday morning.  Apologies!

We like the openness of the modified pavement in Pembroke Broadway.  Though, thinking about it, we wonder why the bus shelters are set so far back from the kerb.  It means that, in the rain, passengers will get wet when about to board a bus.  Presumably there’s a good reason.

And, you never know, if the shelters had been further forward, there might have been room for a cycle lane behind them.  We’re urged to get on our bikes, of course, but there’s no cycle lane running all the way between Park Street and the High Street either here or along the A30.  A lost opportunity perhaps?

An open invitation to the council

Many of our two and a half thousand followers won’t be surprised that some members of the borough council – and we’re talking about council officers AND councillors here – have a low opinion of the Eye.  We suspect that these critics don’t often read what we write, and their belief that the Eye is always negative is probably based on perception rather than on fact.

So, we’ve just looked back at what we’ve written over the last couple of months.  Roughly ninety percent of the time the Eye’s posts haven’t related to the borough council at all.  But our record for the remaining ten percent is not altogether happy.  We’ve criticised the borough council (with evidence and photographs, of course) about twice as often as we’ve praised it (again with evidence and photographs).

Hence this invitation.  If any member of the council thinks any future criticism that we write is unjustified, just send the Eye a short statement explaining why, and we’ll publish their words with an apology.  And, if any member thinks we’ve overlooked an opportunity – within the scope of the Eye’s commentary – to praise, again just send us something suitable and we’ll publish that.

But back to the matter in hand.  Because of resurfacing work, lots of parking spaces in Main Square car park are out of action at the moment.  That’s unavoidable.  However, you would have thought that the car park owner – the council – would have made sure that all other potential spaces were accessible.  Which wasn’t the case yesterday.  A couple of our photos show cones that had been blocking access to several parking spaces – but which a motorist had just removed, ignoring the signs on them, in order to park.  We spoke to him (we’ve deliberately not shown him or his car), and he said that he had been driving round and round looking for a space, and he wasn’t very happy.  We assume that what he said was correct.

The council might argue that the cones and tape were necessary to warn motorists about the damaged grating.  We would argue that there has been plenty of time to repair the damage – our third photo was taken in July, two months after the damage had occurred.  Given the shortage of parking spaces in the key Christmas shopping period, why hasn’t the relatively straightforward repair work been carried out by now?

You can bet on the council!

The title of this post is a bit misleading.  It’s triggered by the fact that, in a few days’ time, the council executive will consider a proposal to: “introduce a new  Surrey  Heath  Community Lottery that will  generate funds to support good  causes within the  Borough and  enable voluntary not for  profit organisations  to  access  funds  from  this Council initiative.”

We understand that the lottery would NOT be intended to generate income for the council.  Sixty percent of the money raised by ticket sales would be distributed to good causes, twenty percent would be distributed as prizes, and most of the rest would go to a third-party lottery organiser.  The council would have only limited involvement if/when the lottery was up and running.

We’re not against the principle of gambling.  All of life is a gamble (some win more than others, but that’s pot-luck).  We’re not against the fun of a harmless flutter, either.  But its hardly news that the lives of gamblers and their families can be destroyed if their addiction gets out of hand.  So the fact that the government and quite a few local authorities already run lotteries isn’t an automatic justification for our council doing the same.  If the Eye were a member of the executive, we’d want more ‘assurance’ than that contained in a single paragraph of a seven-page agenda document that there would be strong safeguards to prevent harm to those who would gamble on the lottery.

One post, three shops…

The Eye has been away from Camberley for a little while.  (Yes, it does happen!)  So we’re having to catch up with some of the things that have happened during our absence.  Here are three shops that have made progress since we were in the town.  Pretty much everything we’re showing has been reported already elsewhere, so this post is mainly ‘for the record’.

Some trucks are more than 13ft 5ins high!

One of our photos today show the notice above one of the Atrium’s service entrances.  It states that the maximum headroom is 13ft 5ins.  But you’ll see that the black and yelllow warning is bent – it seems to have been struck by a delivery vehicle.  (Our sophisticated analysis suggests that the vehicle that did the damage was over 13ft 5ins high!)  Our second photo shows the grill above the entrance, which has been bent backwards significantly.  Oops!

Bus stop or bus stand?

For ages we’ve been aware of this bus stop outside the former Cambridge Hotel.  Or, at least, the wording on the road is ‘Bus Stop’.  However, the adjacent sign says ‘Bus Stand’.  Now, we think we know the difference between a stop and a stand, but we don’t recall ever seeing a bus there, stopping, standing, or doing anything else!

Is it that the stop/stand is only occupied at times when we’re not in the town centre? (We’re a creature of habit, so this is quite possible.)  Or is there another explanation?