Jubilee celebrations can silence moans and groans

HOW refreshing to read so many letters in last week’s postbag from people who enjoyed the Jubilee celebrations. And what a contrast to the catalogue of moans and groans from your other correspondents.

No less than five letters mentioned car parking - a battle which I thought had been fought and won a year ago.

Surely we now have a broadly sensible policy of affordable short-term parking in the centre, subsidised low-cost long-term park & ride on the periphery, together with the best we can afford by way of public transport and cycle lanes?

Anything else leads to gridlock and more pollution.

Free car parking in the centre is no more realistic than “free beer for all the workers”.

No decent children’s clothes shops in Salisbury? I can think of three department stores, four other multiple retailers, three specialist children’s shops and two discount shops, not to mention the market. Surely, these must have something to suit most people?

The “over-priced coffee shops” seem to stay open and thrive throughout the year, paying business rates and providing jobs. For something less expensive, there must be half a dozen cafes in lower price ranges.

We in Salisbury have recently enjoyed St George’s Day, the Queen’s visit, the Jubilee celebrations, an outstanding Arts Festival, and we are looking forward to the Olympic Torch relay.

Later, we have the Food and Drink Festival and the annual fair, before going on to the Christmas festivities. All this is set in a beautiful city with live theatre, good schools, low unemployment and a relatively high occupancy of shop premises.

So come on all you Jeremiahs, enjoy what Salisbury has to offer, stop whingeing, and make your constructive contribution towards shaping our future.

JOHN McGARRY, Harnham

THE Jubilee celebrations began in Wilton on May 31. The idea was suggested months ago by The Caretakers of Wilton Community Centre, Dave and June Findley.

“Why not a tea party for our older residents?”

they said. “Let’s ask special people like Sue and Bede Cooper as well as many other familiar faces from Wilton past and present.”

Special invitations were made and sent out.

The organisational skills of June and Dave were impressive.

The mayor came along and sang with us. Rev Mark Wood led us all in a prayer before we started to eat the goodies.

Our Wilton Thursday Club had cut piles of material for bunting and the Quilters and Joyce joined many metres of cut fabric together.

Pauline made 80 beautiful presentation boxes with 2012 Jubilee coins as gifts while others made cakes and quiches. And June rallied a team of sandwich makers and washers up. We had jelly and ice cream and toasts and “hip hip hoorays” for our Queen made by Richard Fawcus, the chairman of the Thursday Club.

We were entertained by Jim Driscoll, and Gary Nunn arrived resplendent in red white and blue to add to the fun. We also had Earle playing the piano (what a voice!) and encouraging us all to sing along.

The hall was decorated and volunteers laid a magnificent table for 80 with union flags on anything and everything. We chatted to people we had only known by sight but who we now felt were friends. The clearing-up was done with many more helpers and we all left tired but smiling and proud of Wilton and especially of Dave and June for their extraordinary commitment to us all in our town.

ALICE PYMBLE (Thursday Club volunteer)

Comments (4)

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10:41am Sun 24 Jun 12

karlmarx says...

I am really glad to hear that some people are enjoying life under 'austerity measures'. However, sadly that is not the case for everyone. The odd flag waving session for a pleasant little old lady from Windsor, a hop, skip and jump jamboree in London, very inspiring indeed.
Those living and struggling in the REAL world have different priorities though. The spectre of mass unemployment, job security, attacks on the weak and vulnerable people who rely on benefits to stay alive, the decay of the infrastructure etc... All these add up to make living a stressful experience for some. These are the people I have to give hope to in my work and, the numbers are growing. It is an insult to them to be told they should be out celebrating the 'good times' with those who attend such jamborees like Ascot, the Derby, the jubilee 'celebrations', Olympics and so on.
No one is suggesting free parking. Everyone is questioning the councils decision to increase parking charges to subsidise the park and ride. There isn't any public transport in Salisbury, the bus and train companies are private companies only responsible to their shareholders, not the public. Yes, Salisbury is in desperate need of more coffee shops, junk food outlets, night clubs and charity shops. There is a desperate shortage of them.
How does the saying go? 'if you are up to your neck in s##t it's difficult to smell the roses'
I am really glad to hear that some people are enjoying life under 'austerity measures'. However, sadly that is not the case for everyone. The odd flag waving session for a pleasant little old lady from Windsor, a hop, skip and jump jamboree in London, very inspiring indeed. Those living and struggling in the REAL world have different priorities though. The spectre of mass unemployment, job security, attacks on the weak and vulnerable people who rely on benefits to stay alive, the decay of the infrastructure etc... All these add up to make living a stressful experience for some. These are the people I have to give hope to in my work and, the numbers are growing. It is an insult to them to be told they should be out celebrating the 'good times' with those who attend such jamborees like Ascot, the Derby, the jubilee 'celebrations', Olympics and so on. No one is suggesting free parking. Everyone is questioning the councils decision to increase parking charges to subsidise the park and ride. There isn't any public transport in Salisbury, the bus and train companies are private companies only responsible to their shareholders, not the public. Yes, Salisbury is in desperate need of more coffee shops, junk food outlets, night clubs and charity shops. There is a desperate shortage of them. How does the saying go? 'if you are up to your neck in s##t it's difficult to smell the roses' karlmarx
  • Score: 0

7:14pm Sun 24 Jun 12

rantone says...

Come on Karlmarx you make good points, but without the concessionary bus fares so widely used by the seniors the bus companies would then be in deeper trouble. The un-profitable routes soon disappear and this then causes more problems. It could be that more groups could benefit from a concession, but there is not the funds! However, our public taxes do support the concessions for ALL seniors even if they own a motor car. If there were less potential visitors going into the city this would present more of a down turn. Please remember also some events this summer have been FREE at the point of entry, and free transport for ALL to the venue. Yes, funds are then required for some purchases, but one could attend and spend little or nothing. If the Government now can claw in more taxes from those who seek ways of paying less or little then the kitty may grow and help more in our society. This can of worms now seems to be well and truely opened. Keep blogging.
Come on Karlmarx you make good points, but without the concessionary bus fares so widely used by the seniors the bus companies would then be in deeper trouble. The un-profitable routes soon disappear and this then causes more problems. It could be that more groups could benefit from a concession, but there is not the funds! However, our public taxes do support the concessions for ALL seniors even if they own a motor car. If there were less potential visitors going into the city this would present more of a down turn. Please remember also some events this summer have been FREE at the point of entry, and free transport for ALL to the venue. Yes, funds are then required for some purchases, but one could attend and spend little or nothing. If the Government now can claw in more taxes from those who seek ways of paying less or little then the kitty may grow and help more in our society. This can of worms now seems to be well and truely opened. Keep blogging. rantone
  • Score: 0

7:52pm Sun 24 Jun 12

karlmarx says...

rantone wrote:
Come on Karlmarx you make good points, but without the concessionary bus fares so widely used by the seniors the bus companies would then be in deeper trouble. The un-profitable routes soon disappear and this then causes more problems. It could be that more groups could benefit from a concession, but there is not the funds! However, our public taxes do support the concessions for ALL seniors even if they own a motor car. If there were less potential visitors going into the city this would present more of a down turn. Please remember also some events this summer have been FREE at the point of entry, and free transport for ALL to the venue. Yes, funds are then required for some purchases, but one could attend and spend little or nothing. If the Government now can claw in more taxes from those who seek ways of paying less or little then the kitty may grow and help more in our society. This can of worms now seems to be well and truely opened. Keep blogging.
Some very good points there. Firstly can you see that any government/council transport policy can never work with privatised companies. As you mentioned, cost is king so unprofitable routes are at risk and, OAP subsidies. Yet shareholders dividends are not at risk. Why do the shareholders take money that would go to keep less profitable services going and, retain OAP subsidies?
Government 'investment' in transport policies is like giving alcohol to an alcoholic, nothing good will come from it, we don't own the transport, shareholders do.
Keep waving the flags though, it might help in the long term ;-)
[quote][p][bold]rantone[/bold] wrote: Come on Karlmarx you make good points, but without the concessionary bus fares so widely used by the seniors the bus companies would then be in deeper trouble. The un-profitable routes soon disappear and this then causes more problems. It could be that more groups could benefit from a concession, but there is not the funds! However, our public taxes do support the concessions for ALL seniors even if they own a motor car. If there were less potential visitors going into the city this would present more of a down turn. Please remember also some events this summer have been FREE at the point of entry, and free transport for ALL to the venue. Yes, funds are then required for some purchases, but one could attend and spend little or nothing. If the Government now can claw in more taxes from those who seek ways of paying less or little then the kitty may grow and help more in our society. This can of worms now seems to be well and truely opened. Keep blogging.[/p][/quote]Some very good points there. Firstly can you see that any government/council transport policy can never work with privatised companies. As you mentioned, cost is king so unprofitable routes are at risk and, OAP subsidies. Yet shareholders dividends are not at risk. Why do the shareholders take money that would go to keep less profitable services going and, retain OAP subsidies? Government 'investment' in transport policies is like giving alcohol to an alcoholic, nothing good will come from it, we don't own the transport, shareholders do. Keep waving the flags though, it might help in the long term ;-) karlmarx
  • Score: 0

10:48am Wed 27 Jun 12

Richard Clewer says...

There are parts of the country that have serious problems with unemployment. Fortunately Salisbury is not one of them. South Wiltshire (the smallest area we have data for and basically the old Salisbury District Council area) has the lowest unemployment rate in the country at nearly 2%. That is not to say that any unemployment is too much and we are not complacent about the figures (our efforts with young people are a particular priority, we were one of the few places in the Country the Future Jobs fund resulted in young people getting into work in large numbers).

Transport is a harder nut to crack, we do subsidise the bus routes we see as essential, basically those to villages which would otherwise be isolated (rural poverty is very real and we have got to help people who are not only struggling but also isolated with limited transport).

We have worked very hard (I have sat on the steering group and know just what has been involved) to make the Queens visit and Olympic Torch arrival as accessible as possible. We have give support to people wanting to hold street parties and create a sense of local community (£5,000 in Salisbury alone) and done everything we can to make sure everyone can be involved. Life is tough at the moment, I run my own small business and know exactly what it is like out there, that does not mean we should not celebrate. Also if we work together and do everyting we can to make Salisbury a great, buzzing, place it will help the local economy (I know the points about parking, I have just got a free day of Park and Ride to support Independents week atleast).

Richard Clewer
Wiltshire Councillor
Chairman Salisbury Area Board
There are parts of the country that have serious problems with unemployment. Fortunately Salisbury is not one of them. South Wiltshire (the smallest area we have data for and basically the old Salisbury District Council area) has the lowest unemployment rate in the country at nearly 2%. That is not to say that any unemployment is too much and we are not complacent about the figures (our efforts with young people are a particular priority, we were one of the few places in the Country the Future Jobs fund resulted in young people getting into work in large numbers). Transport is a harder nut to crack, we do subsidise the bus routes we see as essential, basically those to villages which would otherwise be isolated (rural poverty is very real and we have got to help people who are not only struggling but also isolated with limited transport). We have worked very hard (I have sat on the steering group and know just what has been involved) to make the Queens visit and Olympic Torch arrival as accessible as possible. We have give support to people wanting to hold street parties and create a sense of local community (£5,000 in Salisbury alone) and done everything we can to make sure everyone can be involved. Life is tough at the moment, I run my own small business and know exactly what it is like out there, that does not mean we should not celebrate. Also if we work together and do everyting we can to make Salisbury a great, buzzing, place it will help the local economy (I know the points about parking, I have just got a free day of Park and Ride to support Independents week atleast). Richard Clewer Wiltshire Councillor Chairman Salisbury Area Board Richard Clewer
  • Score: 0

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