All posts by Graham Williams

To Speak or Not to Speak

One of the problems with a Blog is that there is no way of knowing who reads it or whether or not they agree with what is posted unless they respond.

With the closure of the Dragon’s Head and other facilities there is little opportunity for us to meet and share opinions.  No doubt, the Parish Council does its best, but based on the number of people attending PC meetings, it is unable to generate interest and given the increasingly transient nature of the community together with its wide spread and in places sparse population, this is hardly surprising.

For Whittington, the Blog offers us the opportunity of discussion both with other residents and with ‘outsiders’.

Anyone can contribute to the Blog, either using their own name or a nom-de-plume and, as far as I can see, John exercises very limited censorship, intervening only when “things get out of hand”.

But there is an underlying problem in that, as I understand, there is no way of determining how many people read the Blog let alone how they react to it.

From comments made at the Parish Council it is apparent that not all of our Councillors are regular users of the internet, indeed one remains unconnected to the web, but it is apparent that some members of the PC are computer literate and even read the Blog.

Through the Blog, John and Duncan have been trying to raise awareness of the problems caused by the lack of a bus service but there has been little response from other residents.  Obviously, if you live at places like Hutton Roof or Keerside the question may seem academic and you may feel that if you live in the village and can drive the issue is not relevant.  But look at the effect that the lack of a bus service is having on families with non-driving children and on those who suddenly find that they are no longer able to drive.  It also seems likely that the lack of a bus service is having a depressing effect on the housing market.

So what is the message?  If you read the Blog and agree just post a short note to add your support, if you disagree, say why and there is a chance that this will stimulate discussion and perhaps a greater feeling of community.

Graham Williams

Susie Charles

On 28th November Mark Nelson suggested that we should write to our local County Councillors.

How many of us have done so?

The email address of our County Councillor is:

I have contacted her and got a very prompt response, prompt but not promising, the more people who contact our County Councillor the more we raise awareness of the problems the withdrawal of our bus service has created.

If you feel that you ought to put pressure on please post details of any response that you get on the Blog.

Graham Williams

Whittington SpID – Closure?

Readers of the Blog will be aware I have expressed doubts about the need for a SpID and the process followed by the Parish Council both in their deliberations with their failure to consult and inform the community about the issues of need, cost and possible benefits.

In the discussion which preceded the Parish Council Meeting which took place on 20th November a number of points emerged which confirmed the widely held belief that traffic speeds through the centre of the village are too high given the poor provision of footpaths.

It was decided that the Highways Department should be consulted about other options which might reduce the speed of traffic, such as chicanes and a lower speed limit.  It was recognised that cost restraints may be an important factor.

The Chairman was of the opinion that the speed limit through Arkholme has been reduced to 20mph because of the presence of the school.  It was pointed out that the speed limit remains at 30mph and is only reduced over a short distance and for a short period of time when school is opening or closing.

No further action will be taken until discussions have taken place with the Highway Authority.  It was accepted that it would be unlikely that a SpID would be of any positive benefit.

Graham Williams