Monday, 20 April 2015

Sporting Heaven!

Saturday was one of those days when the sporting gods were smiling.

My firm has been a long time sponsor of Westcliff Rugby Club and their last game of the season took place this weekend with the team realistically needing a win to avoid relegation. Against a strongly performing Barnes team, and in demanding and windy conditions, the team played magnificently to snatch a well deserved win by 8 points to 7. With a nervous wait for other results confirmation was received that they were safe. The team played some great ruby and fully deserved their success.

This was followed by news of an essential away win for the Baggies at Crystal Palace which represents a further massive step to retaining their premiership status next year.

Finally Gloucester Rugby played an epic semi final against Exeter to reach the final of the European Challenge Cup. Their play was amazing although not resulting in the points their superiority deserved until the last few minutes. The final now beckons at The Stoop on Friday week but having tried to get tickets I can’t help but be staggered by the decision to hold the final of this important European tournament at a stadium with a capacity of just 14,000.

I believe the clubs have so far been allocated about 2,500 tickets each – wholly inadequate - and Ticketmaster is suggesting the event is sold out reflecting that the seats have been on sale for some time in circumstances where the finalists have been unknown. Surely a stadium with a capacity nearer to 35,000 or 40,000 would have been appropriate to accommodate fans from both clubs as well as the inevitable number of neutrals. It is the club fans who provide the colour and atmosphere to events like these and they need to be given full opportunity to attend.

So it looks like the final will be enjoyed “Chez Holdcroft” with a large group of Gloucester following family and friends and in the meantime we will be at Kingsholm on Saturday to shout the club on in their premiership game against Newcastle.

Friday, 17 April 2015

A political divide?

On what I would hope will be my last need to comment on this issue today the resurfacing which has been carried out has strangely been limited to only the western half of the road surface whereas on the last occasion at the end of March resurfacing extended across the entire road. There were no obvious defects with the surface as originally replaced.

I attach a photograph showing the new divide.

I am now intrigued to discover if they only intend to resurface the one half or whether they are waiting to do the other half until the footpath widening which is currently under way is completed. However if that is the case surely the proposed widening on the other side will affect the twice resurfaced area.

The only other explanation is that this is a wicked scheme on behalf of the Rainbow Alliance to more regularly resurface the half of the road in front of the previous Lib Dem Council Leader’s office than the half in front of the office of the 2 former Conservative leaders. Obviously a serious case of political discrimination!!

Road resurfaced twice in 3 weeks!

Well the saga continues.

Having taken up the surface laid at the end of March we now have a new surface being laid.

I know I have commented previously on this being a road housing the offices of 3 ex council leaders but surely we are not now on a fortnightly resurfacing rota!

I would be very interested if anyone knew why or at what cost.

It seems even more bizarre bearing in mind that no doubt part of it will be dug up again to facilitate the widening of the western footpath!

Nelson Street (2)

The removal of the new surface continues!

Nelson Street

Some weeks ago I commented on the fiasco relating to the proposed resurfacing work in Nelson Street which, after my intervention, resulted in a constructive response from council officers. It did strike me at the time that I was doing the job for which the relevant portfolio holder is financially rewarded.

Having removed the parking suspension until shortly before the works were due to commence the initial chaos was stopped.

THe resurfacing was then rescheduled for 26th March and was completed with a great improvement to the road and with the parking bays remarked.

However having apparently finished the resurfacing, work then started on widening the footways with replacement kerbs and footways. This is estimated to take some weeks and indeed after the first couple of weeks there is still someway to go to complete the eastern pavement.

What has left me confused is why carry out the resurfacing before the widening of the footways as inevitably this has led to areas to the side of the road being dug up. This confusion has turned to amazement this morning as a significant part of the top surface of the newly resurfaced road has today been scrapped up as is demonstarted by the above photo which was taken part way through the work.

Why take up a newly laid surface which is not in the area of the footway widening and once again why resurface before the other works were complete?

I do not criticise the apparent ability of the workforce or the quality of the work but surely significant sums could have been saved by rescheduling the order of the works.

Who is responsible? It is relevant cabinet member and Independent Party Leader Martin Terry. Questions need to be asked and if money is being wasted I am sure that Cllr Terry will do the decent thing and resign. He was always the first when in opposition to whinge about unnecessary expenditure so let us judge him by his actions rather than his words.