War Memorial Gary Trouton

Straight talking

September 2007

Our grumpy Old man takes a swipe at the Stoke Ferry parish Council, local residents who complain about the local pub and The Village hall.

What on earth is the Parish Council up to? They meet every six weeks for about an hour and discuss important issue's affecting the parish of Stoke Ferry. Well that's what they are meant to do; what seems to happen is they sit around and try and think of interesting things to say.

Looking back over previous minutes of the Village Pump I have noticed that they have come up with some truly excellent ideas. About four years ago a councillor bought up the problem of the poor state of the footpath and kerbs in Buckenham Drive. Now bearing in mind, up until recently, not only did a Borough Councillor serve on the Parish Council but the same councillor was also a County Councillor. So the Parish Council had direct access to the 'right' person and what has actually happened? Absolutely nothing - not a thing. Once again there will be a meeting with the Highways Department and I am sure they will say all the right things and then do nothing about it, claiming a 'tight' budget does not allow the work to be carried out, or that current spending has not allowed for such work to take place. A hundred ways to say the same thing, which is, pay us your money (council tax) and then we will spend it in Norwich on pretty, pastel coloured, park and ride buses that run empty for most of the day.

The Parish Council seem to spend a lot of time expressing their concerns over "speeding" cars using School Lane, that have broken no law, or requesting a lower weight limit on Bridge Road where lorry access is still required. But the High Street/Lynn Road are used as a diversion when the bypass is closed due to an accident although, thankfully, these bypass closures are few and far between.

Instead of trying to get our MP to change the speed limit on a road that is rarely used by unsupervised children under 10, how about they try and get Buckenham Drive, Bradfield Place and Fairfield Road reduced to 20mph? These roads are frequently used by unsupervised children under 10. The new estate off Wretton Road has a 20mph speed limit so why not other residential roads in the village? And why not put some speed bumps in as well? After all, surely no one would object to keeping the speed down where our most vulnerable residents spend a lot of their time.

The headline in the Lynn News (14th August) stated that "there had been no improvement in problem with speeding vehicles in the village". What constitutes speeding? A car actually driving above the speed limit or a "hot hatch" with a "big bore" exhaust doing 25mph but sounding like he's battling for first place with Michael Schumacher? Although there are some irresponsible drivers who knowingly break the speed limit, particularly in the High Street, the problem appears worse due to the unbelievably inconsiderate parking by the residents who live there, particularly those who live adjacent to the "old" church. They park their cars right on the bend and make it very difficult for cars to see up the road. For those who turn from Lynn Road into Wretton Road, there are some days when it's best just to shut your eyes and take your chances.

At almost every meeting there is a polite apology made by our local community policeman saying he is unable to attend. Various reasons are given; usually it is his rest day. Even the police are entitled to a day off, but why does his day off always seem to coincide with the six weekly parish council meetings? The parish council, being very polite people, who obviously don't want to make a fuss, say nothing. I don't see any mention in the minutes that PC Jackson has not turned up...again! If PC Jackson is to continue as our community policeman (and historically they don't seem to last more than a few years) how about he arranges his rest day for a day when it does clash with a parish council meeting, or maybe the Parish Council could change when they meet so that PC Jackson is able to attend. Or maybe the Parish Council could actually represent the people of this village and write to the chief constable and insist that someone from the police attends the meetings.

At the same time they might like to take the trouble to insist that the Borough Councillor and County Councillor also attend the meetings and actually take notice of the very people who have so generously furthered their position in the local community.

I noticed that there have been complaints from residents who live adjacent to the Blue Bell about the late night/early morning noise coming from the pub. Perhaps those who bought a house close to the pub are as short-sighted as some of the residents who live in the High Street and complain about the factory. IT'S A PUB! It's a functional building. Its primary purpose is to serve alcohol to adults; sometimes these adults get a little rowdy, it happens. Have you ever stood outside the bingo hall in Kings Lynn when 250 members of the Derby and Joan complete with blue rinse, spill out onto the street? It's scary. Although people should have some measure of respect for those around them I certainly wouldn't expect them to whisper as they leave the pub or stand silent whilst having a cigarette.

And finally, for the attention of 'The Village Slacker'. Nice attempt to rip off my article. To set the record straight I actually read the Daily Mirror, but I love Kenny Ball and his Jazzmen and I own a vast collection of Jazz video's. Live music is OK but not as good as the real thing. Yes, since we lost the Empire the country has gone to the dogs, and NEVER hassle the Hoff.

Grumpy Old man

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