Thursday, 27 September 2007

BCC Forgot There Are People Without a RELIGION!

Oh, you are conducting a survey on behalf of Bucks County Council. Good, Come in. I have a bellyful of criticism. Where should I begin? Question one? My daughter is six. Yes, I send here to a child minder. Yes, we are both working. What do I think of the service of the BCC? Don’t you think that is too general a question? The rubbish gets collected but much more can be done on the recycling side. No question about that. So I can’t mention recycling collection from business? No! OK, is there a question about transport. No, just about how I get to the health centre? Look, I really think BCC is not doing enough on the public transport front. OK there is no question about that. Is preparing and conducting a consultation considered a service? Does protecting the lifestyle and beauty of our rural villages and towns count as a service? No, I do not mean the one about the 9200 households – that is AVDC. I mean the development on the Princess Mary site. How about attracting employers in order to reverse the decline in available jobs, is that a service you are asking about? Lets move on to the next questions. My ethnicity. Oh that is an easy one: ‘White Other’. You don’t have that on your list? Let me have a look. Hay, this list is not the standard ONS Census list. How do you intend to link this information to other official statistics? What’s the last question? My religion? I do not have one. I am an Atheist-Secular-Humanist. Put me done as religion NONE. What do you mean you do not have that option on the list? OK, my mum is Jewish write that down. Sorry, did you say that was not on the list too? And you are asking me what I think about the service? First some more thought should go into all the activities. Such as ensuring the questioner is effective and accurate –which this one is clearly not. The ‘data’ questions are ill designed and irrelevant to me. The ‘opinion’ question is too general, unfocused, and I am not sure what it is asking about. Don’t forget to tell them that many of us do not hold a religion! Yes?

Wednesday, 5 September 2007

an open letter to Wendover Parish Counsil

I listened with interest to the discussion yesterday about the lighting provisions for Christmas (or in my case, Sir Isaac Newton’s birthday). I was delighted you decided to opt for elegant simplicity. You, rightly, examined the budgetary and safety aspects. I would like to point out a consideration that was not raised: trying to do it as green as possible. Decorative street lighting is very power hungry. Obviously a side effect of a simple design is also a reduced power usage but there is more scope to be green (and save money) by choosing the type of the light bulbs, maximizing their spacing (i.e. less points), and the time at night the lights are switched off. I know that carbon offsetting is controversial but it would be in line with many Wendoviran’s expectations.

Furthermore, I would like to point out that you have encountered a known selling technique: pricing a high setup fee for the first year followed by lower ‘maintenance fees’. This is a psychological trick to try and sweeten the blow and to divert attention form other pricing models. I suggest you consider an option of doing this year a small part of the installation, indicating that if all goes well we will add to it in the following years. This has the advantage of both splitting up the ‘set-up’ cost over several years and of keeping the suppliers on their tows. It will also provide an opportunity to gage the response to the scheme and allow for changes (that would otherwise be very costly).

I believe that a project such as this should be coasted based on a 10 year span, and should include the cost of the electricity and the carbon offsetting.

My old Blog

I had a Blog in Blogstoday. I created it when the Bucks Herald promoted it during their trial period of their website. However, their ‘Your Say’ page that is supposed to list the updated blogs and most popular ones has not changed since January. I tried alerting the editor and searched for some direct contact to the tech team of Blogstoday. Furthermore, I did not have sufficient control on the design of the page. Let's see how this platform fairs.