The ups and downs of Park Street

2-dimensional photos don’t illustrate a 3-D problem very well.  But these two photos show where a quite considerable dip has appeared in Park Street;  make sure you don’t trip…

It’s by no means the first time that there’s been mini-subsidence in thi stretch of the road.  Maybe there’s a drain or similar that’s prone to collapse?

What’s behind the hoarding on the Blackwater Valley Road?

We strayed to the limits of the known universe the other day, and visited the top of the Blackwater Valley Road, where we took this photo of the demolition/construction site on the corner.  So, what’s happening behind the white hoarding?  Unless we’re mistaken, it’s the implementation of a planning application that was approved in mid 2018.  The application was on behalf of Jaguar Land Rover, and it proposed a “Replacement two storey building for use as car sales with revised vehicular access from Admiralty Way, roof deck parking, ancillary vehicle repairs, office space and valet buildings.”  (Ironically, the application was submitted at about the same time as Audi quit its showroom a few hundred yards away on the A30)

Given the state of the car market in general, from which JLR is by no means immune, it’s a good time to cross fingers and hope that their new site is a successful.  Happily, quoting the FT of a month or so ago, “Jaguar Land Rover returned to profit last quarter”

Chief Executive’s ‘pay rise’; how long will the news blackout last?

It’s now four months since we first discussed the public disquiet over the council Chief Executive’s ‘pay rise’.  It’s about three months since the terms of reference for an independent enquiry into the saga were published.

Now, realistically, it should only take a few days, at most, for an investigator to find out what happened.  Allow them a preliminary week to plan how they’ll tackle the task and read the relevant background paperwork, and a week or so afterwards to write their report in a tactful ‘no-one’s to blame’, ‘lessons have been learned’ style, and the whole job could have been completed in under a month.

So, why is it taking so long?  Well, a cynic might say that the council is waiting to bury bad news.  Is it waiting for the election results to fill the headlines?  Or perhaps waiting until everyone is more interested in Christmas activities?  Who knows.  Of course, this would be accusing the council of disgracefully-low standards.  But hasn’t the council behaved pretty badly already, by keeping local tax-payers in the dark?  Why expect it to show higher standards now?

Booze news….

It’s extremely difficult to photograph notices fixed inside shop windows.  Reflections are a real challenge.  But these two pictures are the best we could do – they’re of notices in the Hoxon Bar and in Rotisserie Corner (in the former Hancock’s restaurant).  They advise that both premises are the subject of applications for licences to sell alcohol, and are on the legally-required blue paper (which is a bit of an anachronism in this day and age).