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.
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’.
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!
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?
“Irrespective of the material used, a high quality of workmanship is essential for the quality of finish and the longevity of the landscape. The aim is to create a cohesive, coordinated palette of hard landscape materials which are easy to use, maintain, and be controlled.” Surrey Heath Borough Council, March 2015.
In contrast, our photo was taken in Obelisk Way, this October. What a difference! As we’ve said before, the council plans for the longer-term, but we live in the present.
If you’ve walked up Park Street and turned westwards onto the A30 at any time in the last few years, you may have noticed that the cycle lane markings on the pavement didn’t make sense. They did, once upon a time, but a utility company raised all the concrete slabs on which they were painted to carry out some service work, and when the slabs were replaced they were put down in random order. You can see some of the result in our photo – look at the pavement nearest the camera.
What you’ll also see from our photo is that some of the slabs have been raised once more – for repairs to an underground electricity cable. What are the odds that the cycle lane markings will make more sense when the job is finished? We’ve not been that way for a day or two; let us know if you’ve walked round that corner more recently.
You’ll remember that Zizzi in Park Street had a roof fire earlier this year. Though it was quite a spectacle, it didn’t disrupt business for long, and until now we’ve not seen much in the way of repairs being carried out, so it must have actually been quite minor. Anyway, it seems that repairs are now underway; scaffolding had been installed when we walked by last week.
Roy has sent us this photo of the parking tariff that’s on display in The Square. He wrote “Thankfully as a local, I know Knoll Road is nowhere near the sign, but I do feel sorry for the visitors who brave this town.”
We have to agree with Roy. What’s more, visitors might reasonably assume that the tariff on display refers to the adjacent car park, and not the one that’s ten minutes walk away. Indeed, what IS the purpose of the sign? If it’s to tell people that parking is cheaper in Knoll Road, then it should say so. If it’s to tell people that, if Main Square car park is full, there’s another in Knoll Road, then it should make this clear. (Though, as the sign is inside the mall, it’s a bit too late. Any drivers reading it must have managed to park already!)
It was on the 25th of September that we reported that a tree in one of the new planters in Park Street had been broken. But it’s good to be say that it’s already been replaced – well done to whoever has taken prompt action. (The replacement is a little taller than its fellow trees, but it would be churlish to complain about that!)
Above – the replacement tree. Below – the broken tree
We’ve commented a couple of times about the stone cladding that’s falling off the front of the theatre, and the start of work to make things safe. But we’ve been a bit surprised (in spite of our last posting on the subject) to see that, instead of urgent repairs, the facade has ‘simply’ been covered in netting. Perhaps it takes time to arrange a permanent solution, so the netting is an unavoidable stop-gap measure.