Nobody endorses anyone, regardless, here’s his thoughts: Chris Mockridge
Residents of Totnes awoke this morning to discover the town had received a second unofficial ‘twinning’.
Previously, only one sign had been doctored to twin the town with Narnia drawing praise from many, but anger from some. Eventually, that grafitti was removed by South Hams District Council after pressure from a campaign group.
This latest clandestine effort has been altogether more thorough, with every Welcome to Totnes sign receiving a sticker ‘twinning’ the town with Area 51 – infamous for alien sightings and top secret American millitary activity. Coming on the back of recent crop circles in Totnes, it’s hard to imagine the two are not connected in some way. A detailed report on the latest crop circles by Hauted Devon can be downloaded from this page
1. How did they miss this (seriously guys, how?)
2. The Facebook Page (2 Likes)
3. This shit.
It’s the graffiti at the bottom of Totnes High St, it says: I would like to congratulate DCC + RV inforcing shutt No ET (apparently an ET is the current one way system in Totnes)
Where to start…
Top Tip: Before defacing your town with brightly coloured examples of your spontaneity, why not try out the words first on a disposable piece of paper? Ask a friend to check if writing them at the bottom of the high street might make you look like an idiot (clue – it does) and think hard about whether your actions might, ironically, damage trade (and your cause) by making the place look bad (clue – it does).
4. The figures don’t add up. Traders will always tell you times are tough, and this time they’re right. Most of us are still in a recession, it was bankers bonuses that skewed the figures to make the economy look rosy. Think about it, banking addicts spent so much money in their free time that it registered on a national scale… Ponder that for a moment. Other than that we are all in this together.
Totnes has had a vacancy rate (empty shops) of half the national average throughout the recession. Ponder that for a moment.
When the council invited traders (in confidence) to prove takings were down, only a handful of shops obliged. The figures did not show that takings were down.
Street parking is down under the new scheme but correspondingly the car parks are more full, meaning it is easier to drive into town, park, and then use the shops.
Which leads me to wonder what did push La Fleurette over the edge? And then I remembered that within the last few years two (count them) extra florists have opened in Totnes. It’s too simple to pick one thing and blame that, but how ever was Totnes (population under 8000) going to support three, or was it four, florists? – I have no idea. Add to that:
“Traffic in Totnes increases 4% a year” – Sarah Wollaston MP (Totnes)
5. Walk up town. Just go and walk up town, it’s nicer.
I do recognise this is a divisive issue, to quote Sarah Wollaston again “Half the letters I recieve on this are strongly in favour of the new road system, and half are against, that is why it is so hard to be your MP”, she asked for a show of hands at a very well attended open meeting in Bridgetown church, revealing a 50/50 split on the issue.
On September 20th Sustainable Totnes Action Group plan a second march to show the strength of feeling, particularly among shop keepers, for changing back to the previous system. Sustainable Totnes Action Group have no web presence, so I can’t tell you what time it starts…
I’ve written before about why you might want to object to the Duke of Somerset building over Great Court Farm. This is how to object to the planning application.
The Duke of Somerset doesn’t want you to tell the council planning department about the traffic increase past St John’s Primary School, or the dangerous junctions at Blackpost Cross or True Street House.
If you would like to tell the council anyway, click here
On the way to the train station I was thinking that when I scrap my car it would be good to switch to public transport and taxis. At the station the machine offered me a ticket price double what I expected, so I bought a ticket for half price at the ticket office. It’s unusual that the office was manned, how lucky I was.
On the train it was a bit crushed, no seats. Empty first class and cramped steerage by the toilets.
At Exeter St Davids there are automatic gates that let you out most efficiently as you insert your ticket. My son ran through and was instantly lost in the crowd whilst I fumbled. There are four gates, and problems like my wayward son are common enough that the gates must be manned, five workers attend the four ‘automatic’ gates.
On the return journey I read in the Metro that trust in rail companies is at an all time low, with South West Trains rated at -18% (whatever that means).
My friend works in transport and he describes the pricing situation as ‘a standard price, with a series of discounts’. I don’t experience it like that though.
What I feel is that the price I’m offered could almost certainly be beaten if only I had some key piece of insider information, perhaps a single ticket as far as the next franchise, then perhaps a return ticket from there…
Our current rail system is like a cafe serving bacon and eggs, where you don’t get a plate but can claim money back because the knife and fork were dirty. Upon finishing your meal, you get to find out that the couple opposite paid half the amount because they had ordered eggs with a side order of bacon.