Thursday, 6 December 2007

If you want something done give it to a busy man

Last Monday, councillor Brian Prior surprised us all resigning, elegantly, form the post of vice-chairman of the parish council, exactly a month since his election (the previous meeting). To my opinion it is a shame as he was doing the right noises and seems like the right person for the job.

It takes a very strong personality to fight the current and keep one’s gowned. We all have experienced it. When joining a new organization (work, family, or politics), we assimilate to a certain degree the way things are done, even if we do not like it. Thus, to an extent, a person will become more efficient when dropped into a company where efficiency is truly valued and practiced. Alas it also works the other way.

I have a lot of respect for the people who volunteered to the Wendover Parish Council. However, I feel they could improve their internal and external information sharing. This is an issue that used to drive me mad at certain places I worked at. An important aspect of team work is realizing that not every body knows what you have gleaned or done. I am sure that at his work place, councillor Prior would not have allowed himself to do the mistake he did in the parish meeting of going with the flow, not thinking things thoroughly though, and believing it will all be alright.

Take last month’s meeting. The councillors did not really come prepared for dealing with Dr. King’s resignation. I am sure they knew about it. But they did not communicate with each other sufficiently to realise there were decisions to be made and probably some homework. Thus, councillor Prior was “ambushed”, proposed and elected as a vice-chairman. He accepted the honour without knowing what it entails and what work load it demands. That means that there were also some councillors that voted him in not knowing what they were voting for (4 of the councillors were co-opted in not that long ago). With hind sight, a memo should have gone out reminding every body what this position involves. I had the same cold feeling watching counsellor Ballantine present the planning applications she, and the rest of the council, lost focus. By the way, to the best of my memory, she was the one who surprised councillor Prior with the nomination.

I find it very sad that the way things are done by the Parish Council is stacked up against people who are still in employment or have a young family. Out of the 11 councillors only 5 hold day jobs of which, I believe, only 3 are full time engagements. I wonder if the job of the vice-chair could be shared. How did Dr. King, who has a very demanding day job, do it?

I hope councillor Prior’s will not totally give up, and keep towing his way. At one of the first meetings he attended, he quietly suggested that they should think not only of what to do (the letter of the law) but also how to do it (the interpretation and ethos). I hope his voice gets stronger in time.

Wednesday, 5 December 2007

Get Cycling, Wendover!

You probably have noticed the beginning of the roadworks on Aylesbury Road. We are told that this is the long awaited cycle path. This is the culmination of an eight years long effort many have contributed to. If you are please to hear this read on the email I just received from Laura Ferguson, a young, enthusiastic, inspiring Wendovrian who wants to contribute to our community:

Dear all,
Many thanks for your time last Thursday, and to Mary and Chris for your hospitality.
Before the next meeting, I will investigate the routes to becoming properly constituted as a group. I will also flesh out the public campaign and funding plans I raised at the meeting, which I think will form my main contributions to the group.
It was really very encouraging to hear about the work that is being done already by you all, especially in relation to lobbying local government and statutory bodies on cycling issues.
I hope that a public campaign supported by funding possibilities plus continued lobbying will prove to be fruitful aims for the new group.
In addition to your current lobbying, I have recently been in touch with the Forestry Commission about cycling plans in the main Wendover Woods (following one of my bi-weekly mountain bike rides into Wendover Woods). I will follow this up with contact with Go Ape and further discussions with the Forestry Commission over the coming weeks.
Finally, just to keep you all in the picture: I have had confirmation from Jane Larkham that the following piece will appear in January's Wendover News:
"Do you want to make a difference to the environment or to parking problems and traffic congestion in Wendover?
Have you got a bike?

30 November , 2007 saw the first meeting of “Wendover and Halton Cycling” (provisional title - we're open to suggestions!). This new group aims to help people to get on their bikes in Wendover and Halton.

If you would like to join this new group, or for further information, contact Laura Ferguson at or 07760 383641."
I look forward to seeing you all in January. In the mean time, my email and mobile are free to be passed to third parties (as seen above). Please do keep my home number to yourselves.. it is ex-directory!
Best wishes,

Tuesday, 4 December 2007

A bug or a feature

It the Wendover Parish Council trying to tell us something? Is it just a mischieful wink or a clever reminder not to drink and drive?

For the two and a half readers (and my wife) who do not get what I am talking about – the triangle on the top of the clock tower was installed on the off-side.

The parish council discussed today the very important subject of safety measures for the crossing to the area they are developing on the London Road. I support their decision to install an interactive sign that will flash to drivers the speed they are going (called SID or VAS). However, I think that is not enough. I hope the counsellors will follow up on their intention to insist Bucks County Council does its bit. For instance it could install a Toucan Crossing (a crossing with lights that are button activated at a height suitable for cyclers).

A resident from Vinetrees complained about parking issues. It seems this cul-de-sac is used by the people working in the High-Street. The council was quick to sympathize. A little too quick on the mark to my liking. I have an Idea – I heard the church just opposite the health centre is going to be demolished. Good, it is an ugly building. How about the site is turned to parking with special reductions for people who work in the area.

Happy Sir Isaac Newton Birthday