Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Village Green

It was a pleasure to support Metal’s annual Village Green in Chalkwell Park on Saturday. After concerns over the effect of the introduction of an entry fee and the less than great weather forecast it was very well supported again this year and with hot sunshine through most of the afternoon I doubt if I was the only attendee to return home with a distinctly reddish glow. Whilst numbers may not have been at quite last year’s levels, when it was if anything overfull, it was very well supported once again. We ventured to a different stage from usual, on the corner of Chalkwell Avenue and London Road, and enjoyed some great music to include in particular Youth Club who even persuaded my to allow some of the moths to escape from my wallet by buying their cd. We also toured the rest of the event which provided its usual eclectic and interesting mix. It was good to see the Mayor Chris Walker in attendance and my former colleague Cllr Derek Jarvis who continues to show his love and support of culture in the Town. I did not spot the current culture cabinet member (whoever that might be!) or indeed any member of the current cabinet but then I suppose it is a long way for them to come from their homes in the East! If I had to sound one critical note there remains a significant number of people who by the end of the event appeared to have overdone the alcohol or perhaps other substances and there remains a regular sight of large quantities of cheap lager being carried in from the surrounding supermarkets. As I have mentioned previously I believe that a sensible move would be to prevent visitors from bringing in their own alcohol but to sell beer etc at competitive prices. This would help generate more profit for the event (perhaps even removing the need to charge entry) whilst being more likely to keep alcohol consumption within reasonable levels. Don’t get me wrong I like a drink as much as the next person but I am not convinced that large quantities of cheap strong lager is quite in keeping with the generally family friendly feel of the event. Still I shall be supporting again next year whatever and will try to remember the sun tan cream - even if it looks cloudy.


  1. I believe culture falls within Cllr Longley's remit.

    Because you did not see any Cabinet members it does not mean they were not there!

  2. Julian

    You may be right on both scores. I have to say that I remain in favour of cabinet titles which made it clear who is responsible for what - a change I introduced from the outset. Cllr Longley appears to have responsibility for Enterprise Tourism and Economic Development which may or may not include culture. I would have thought that culture was of significant importance within the town to make this clear. I was there for more or less the whole day and as in previous years saw the Mayor and Derek Jarvis without any particular effort on my part. I would have thought that if Cllr Longley was there he would have ensured that his picture was in the paper by now as that appears to be the priority of our current cabinet even before they have anything to properly announce - never mind after the event!

  3. To be fair you will find any excuse to criticise the current administration. It is somewhat trivial to be so exercised about job titles. As to attendance at the Village Green - I did not go either and that is because I was busy doing other things. I have no idea where the seven Cabinet members were on Saturday, but I can imagine they have much to do and so should be forgiven for their absence.

  4. Here we must disagree. It is a matter of transparency. it must be clear as to which cabinet member has responsibility for which area. The fact that we are having the debate demonstrates there is an issue. I don't know whether or not Cllr Longley (or indeed any other cabinet member) was present however this event is a major item is the Town's social calendar, held in one of our parks and with significant input from the Council. Cabinet members receive significant allowances to reflect the demands of their job and one of the demands is attending events of this kind - if not how can they comment on the operation of the event. In years gone by Derek was always present as were other cabinet members. Is it not appropriate to criticize the cabinet? All they have done so far is make some inappropriate pre announcements to the press and indicate that 3 particular decisions are being reviewed. The real test is when they actually try to deliver something, honour their pre election promises and bring forward a balanced budget!