Any idea what this is, or why it is where it is?

P1030384We’ve stared across the A30 at this device near the RMA quite often.  What’s it there for?  The notice on it says:

P1030388

(A confession.  We took these photos nearly seven years ago.  The sign’s still there, but it looks as if the green box has been changed – or repainted a slightly different colour – at some point.  And, seven years later, we still don’t know what the device is.)

Stop telling the truth, SHBC

Can you imagine a McDonald’s advertisement that started ‘People prefer Burger King’?  No?  Neither can we – even if the statement were true.

However, according to yesterday’s Daily Telegraph, that’s pretty much what the borough council has said about Camberley.  People prefer nearby successful towns.

(In more detail….  A number of our readers have alerted the Eye to an article in yesterday’s Daily Telegraph which started: “The trouble with Camberley is that it has never had much in the way of a USP [unique selling proposition].”  “Retailers and shoppers tend to go to successful towns nearby.”)

The Eye learned many years ago that companies shouldn’t let ‘just any’ member of staff speak to the press.  They tend to be too honest and open.  But it’s a bit disturbing to learn that the Telegraph was apparently quoting the borough council’s Economic Development Officer.  As we’ve said – and written – so often, the council’s communication skills are sadly lacking.

The rest of the Telegraph article is a positive item about The Square becoming the UK’s first ‘5G-enabled Mall’.  But why provide the paper with such a negative opening when you have an exciting story to tell?  First impressions count – they really do.

A borough councillor with their feet in the trough?

About a year ago, the Surrey Heath Standards Sub Committee held a meeting at which one agenda item was “[to] consider a report setting out the outcomes of an investigation of a complaint about a potential breach of the Code of Conduct”  The context was that “Councillor Gandhum had sought to pressurise the Complainants into selling their property to him whilst at the same time working to undermine the chances of their planning application being approved”

According to the minutes of that meeting, it was felt that “the concerns raised in the complaint clearly breached the Nolan Principles and the Council’s Code of Conduct for Councillors” in particular with regard to: selflessness, integrity, accountability, openness and honesty, leadership, treating others with respect, bringing the council into disrepute, improper use of position, and declaration of interests.

An independent investigation into what had happened had been completed before that meeting a year ago.  Rather puzzlingly, though, the resulting report has apparently only just been made available on the council website.  (You can find it here: https://bit.ly/2SRmWDI) Given that residents have a justified interest in knowing about the misdemeanours of their representatives, it is surprising that the report has taken so long to emerge, and that so little publicity has been given to its existence.

Is there any more dirty council linen still to be revealed?  For the record, we should mention that the councillor did not stand for re-election, and is no longer a councillor.

High Street – an update, and a thought

Rachel has sent us some recent photos of the High Street.  As she says, “it looks like a lot of work has been done.”

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We wonder what the future holds for the town centre.  One scenario is that cafes and restaurants will have to have more outside seating so that customers can keep a safe distance apart.  Also, shops may require customers to queue outside, for the same reason.  That could mean that even the new, wider, pavements will become blocked.  In turn, that could mean that pedestrians will have to walk in the roadway.  Which – just perhaps – could lead to traffic being banned at busy times.  Gosh, does that mean that, other than for for blue badge drivers, who must still have access, the High Street could be pedestrianised after all?  The council, having fought against the idea for years and years, would hate that!

Deserted Camberley

Peter has kindly sent us photographs of Camberley in lockdown.  Here are two.  In fact, in spite of the title of this item, we think we can see about five people in the original version of this picture of Park Street.  Sadly, nowhere near enough to keep the tills ringing.

Looking at the photo of the top of the car park, we wonder a little about the conversion of Ashwood House.  Flats in the building are supposed to be available for occupation in the first quarter of next year.  Is that a too-ambitious target?  ‘The virus’ presumably isn’t going to help.

There is some lovely road re-surfacing in Camberley!

Archie has sent us photos of Clewborough Drive and Beverley Close.  They show what looks like a beautiful new black road surface, smooth as a billiard table.  Meanwhile our favourite hate – Church Hill – seems to have acquired yet another patched pothole.

We must, of course, be grateful that the roads are being maintained.  But are they the RIGHT roads?  Is there a greater need somewhere else in Camberley?

 

Apologies to the bin men!

(If anyone objects to the title of this item, we’ll change the wording to ‘bin persons’…)

A couple of days ago we came across the two bins lying on their sides in our first photo.  ‘Huh!’, we thought.  The binmen usually do a good job, but this seemed more than a bit careless.  However, ten minutes later we encountered the grey bin in our second photo.  At the time, it was upright.  But a puff of wind later, and it was on its side too.

It’s a bit surprising that the bins are quite so unstable.  Apologies, bin men, for doubting you!

Crawley Ridge – not doing things by halves

As Crawley Ridge is on one of our daily exercise routes, we’re taking more interest in it than we used.  So we’ve already expressed puzzlement that roadworks there will be taking as long as two weeks.  We’ve also shown that one carriageway was closed recently for pavement repairs.  But, to our surprise, the road was shut to traffic completely yesterday.  Was that really necessary?  Still, it’s not a busy road at the moment, so maybe not too many people had to go a long way round to avoid the closure.

Social distancing inside AND outside Barclays

Terry has sent us this photo of Barclays Bank in the High Street.  Or, to be precise, the photograph is of the area outside the bank, where the pavement is restricted by the High Street ‘makeover’.  Terry makes the point that keeping customers well-separated inside the building has the predictable effect of encouraging them to gather outside instead.

A bit more thought required, Barclays.