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Malcolm Robinson

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Everything posted by Malcolm Robinson

  1. Due to the comments on this topic and others in the same vein on other topics, having friends staying with me now who are integral to various volunteer bodies in and around Bedlington it seemed too good a chance to miss, getting first hand information about the subject. One thing I would add is that it seems very simple to get first hand information about any of these schemes, get along to a Forum meeting! “There is a package of improvements for Front Street which should make our town centre deserve its conservation area status. These improvements will include: 1. New seating, around 30, designed for ease of use incorporating traditional materials, ie, cast iron. 2. New litter bins, again approx 30, with Terrier logo cast into face. Again these bins have been designed to compliment the “street package.” 3. Planters, existing planters replaced with olde worlde cast iron designs again with Terrier logo. 4. Finger (Direction) posts; again in the traditional style, these posts will be located at various points along Front Street highlighting areas of interest. 5. All existing street furniture ie, bollards, lamp posts and hopefully bus shelters will be painted in the old Bedlingtonshire green which will match all the new furniture going in. 6. Railings will be painted in the same colour. 7. Erection of an “interpretation board” depicting historical events in the town and showing key locations. 8. Improvements to alleyway street lighting. (Between Front Street and car park/doctors/Woolsington Court etc.) These packages of improvements have come around through an amalgamation of grant funding obtained by WDC and overseen by interested voluntary bodies who represent the town’s interests, ie, Bedlington Forum, West Bedlington CAP, street traders etc.. The improvements have been brought to fruition with the help of a charitable company, “The Living Streets.” This group specialises in advising public authorities on how best to utilise their inner city areas. They particularly target pedestrian usage giving advice and information on how to improve a particular street etc. Once WDC and those interested parties had formulated a draft design package incorporating the advice they had received the whole thing went out to the general public for comment and suggestions. The comments received were extremely positive and in virtually every case acted upon. If anyone in Bedlington has a problem with these improvements and upgrades there has been many chances and public opportunities to voice any concerns and other suggestions! As for the “Welcome to Bedlington” sign I presume this will be item 7, the “interpretation board”, something I too have yet to see. The rest of the package is due to be installed, including improvements to the pavement areas under and around the new seating, in the very near future. The total price for the package to date and there is some way to go yet is well over £100.000. As a footnote all the above information has been published in the magazine “In Touch” which is regularly distributed to EVERY household in the Wansbeck area!”
  2. Denzel, I don’t think anyone was advocating communism, only using it as an illustration of a counter philosophy. The problem with it would seem to be the need for a ruling elite to implement it, a strange concept for a doctrine which states everyone is equal? As Orwell said some are more equal than others and that would give credence to your belief in an Alpha male type structure. As for Joe with his new build and Beemer these trapping of wealth are delusory because he has probably given most of his working life and income to the cash houses. House loan, cheapest borrowing, but you still pay around 3 times the original amount back over 25 years, car loan and plastic, don’t even go there! So even in these days of perceived freedom of choice the vast majority of the population are working for their own version of a ruling elite and that is without any mention of a political or social upper class. Greed is a classical human trait, maybe a throw back from when we needed to eat more than our fill because we didn’t know when the next meal would come walking by, but it is used by capitalism to keep you buying more and more stuff which really isn’t needed. As for “Utopian idealistic nonsense.” Let’s take a look. Utopian; every creed and philosophy have an idyll as a goal without it no one would be interested! Idealistic; of course it is that without ideals there wouldn’t be a structure. Nonsense; well that is more to do with the spectator and commentator and is purely a personal refection on the subject matter but let’s remember a whole swathe of the world is under what it considers to be a communism banner. Whether it works or not is a different matter. I presume by your replies you will advocate capitalism as the only true working philosophy, what I would like to ask is how long has it left. Like oil supplies there is a finite amount of time until you get to the last drop and then what. When everyone has the materialism they could ever crave what then? OR when we have decimated the planet to its destruction will that be the end of consumerism?
  3. I agree Swalnalla but there is something else to think about. A society has to have a structure to enable it to grow and operate effectively, anarchy just leads to a reversal of innovation and intellect. Given that we seem to need to believe in some “greater than us” thing then a benign religious doctrine would seem to fit that bill. Most religions are pretty good at showing people how to live in harmony but as mentioned the zealots corrupt that message for their own goals. You do not have to agree with an omnipotent deity to live a “Christian” type lifestyle. This would reduce all religions to a strictly philosophical level, just the same as capitalism, communism etc. The fact that religions are corrupted by people for their own ends just the same as political systems says more about human nature. It seems a strange nefarious relationship between the elected state, religion and the unelected state, ie. Monarchy. The tie ins are close and they perpetuate each other’s power. In simple terms it is all about control.
  4. BB, I don't advocate independent "groups" but I would like to see local government run by people not swayed by party political dogma and in fighting. For Bedlington to have any imput out of the unholy trinity that is WDC this has to happen. As for Marx, the populist view is that Marx = communism, a discredited philosophy in these days of comsumerism is king, but as your post points out he was much more than something which has been changed to suit the politicans who were supposed to serve. Personally I think the smaller the world becomes a new philosophy will emerge to encompass it.
  5. CK, I couldn't disagree more! You only have to open any paper or watch a news programme to see that the farther up the greasy pole a politician goes the more your first paragraph and the adjectives ring true. Most local politicians of any party colour will start with some degree of altruism, even if they just have time to fill in, it is only when they get into the real nuts and bolts of the situation that the realisation comes that they are in a big machine without any personal control. Independent councillors, who seem at the moment to be elected on single issues, have the same problems, they are faced with an overwhelming torrent of votes by councillors who have been ORDERED to vote in certain ways, not necessarily the way they would have if given a degree of self determination. I still do not see what a National Executive has to do with getting the pavement fixed outside Mrs Bloggs house? I would be very interested in knowing just who these "half decent" somebody’s are because they are making decisions which we have no control over, how can we hold them to account and isn't that what a democratic system is all about? Much better to have all local decisions made by locally accountable people who base their actions on merit rather than a party whip!
  6. CK, As long as there are poltical references on local election ballot papers people will vote for the National party of their choice, normally. It is much easier than finding out what the person stands for in the locality. If there were just names on ballot papers it would be up to either the person who wants your vote to get his/her message across or the voter to find out what each person stands for. In fact I would make it manditory for every local councillor to be independent because I just do not see the relevance of national parties in local elections. That should ensure the end of the local poltical whip!
  7. Actually there was supposed to be a basic test for councillors and some councils actually took them, I asked the question but WDC seems impervious to such things!
  8. Threegee, I take your point about the councillor make up of WDC and the fact that the power base is across the water, isn't it time for none political ballot papers for local elections? This should ensure the electorate at least finds out who they going elect! In fact to tackle the much heralded "apethy" question I would include a box marked, "None of the above" as I do not necessarilly belive not voting is truely apethy it may just be a protest. I do believe for some strange quasi political reason the Bedlington councillors are obviously ineffective, and have been for some years, maybe it is time to impose passport controls on Stakeford Bridge and reimpose the old boundaries of Bedlingtonshire declaring a seperate state!
  9. I quite agree Swalnalla and the fact that Bedlington is in the middle of Ash,Mor,Bly and Cram is something the Home Office(cop shop) didn't miss! In the end every little helps and having a Front Street which everyone can see is a conservation area for its own worth will only help attract the type of business you describe. It is now up to the people who want to see Bedlington develop to make sure that money is spent wisely, at least question and hold to account every decision made!
  10. Must have heard all the disenfranchised voices on this board, about the town, in the ivory tower across the water as 1.5 million squid coming Bedlington's way.........wow! Of course seeing might be believing.
  11. I watched the show and while I was happy to see anything on national TV about the old homestead why do they always equate pits and pitmen with brass bands when there is and was so much more. I know they followed a theme in the original but it does reinforce the "cloth cap and whippet" image the rest of the country if not world has of the area. What happened to those days Joe, someone decided to initiate a system of greed and avarice into society for political gains and thereby destroyed community cultures!
  12. Joe, Don't know if I would agree with that. I was just back in Bedlington last month after a number of years away and there still looks to be a lot to do. Of course it is a subjective view as I am really comparing with what I am used to now. Still looks like the forgotton backwater of Wansbeck to me which is a shame as Front Street is the only conservation area of its type in the whole of WDC! I know there are moves afoot to change its appearance but there were when I lived there over 5 years ago.
  13. Last week the PO was fined 11 million squid but who pays? Not only that who gets paid and what happens to the money. If it is the as yet unprivatised section of the PO will the Gov be fining itself and then giving the cash back in grant form?
  14. A few years ago some Bedlington Forum members and others tried to get something done for the youngsters in the town. Our idea was a purpose built unit, sort of youth club, but with some sporting facilities thrown in. (Tried to kill two birds with one stone!) We identified several parcels of council owned land in the town and also found funding. The snag was that WDC would not countenance a new build. The reason, they had to cover any shortfall in running expenses, not withstanding construction costs, and with a limited budget I could see their point. Another snag was that we wanted the land for a quid or equal partnership. Council have to, by law, get best value for any land sales etc and our argument was that our idea represented best value for the land even with no money changing hands as pure financial gain was never mentioned as being the criteria. Of course the resulting stalemate was plain for anyone to see! It was also suggested at the time, by WDC, Bedlington might be getting a small multi use sports facility which we could adopt into and possibly have a section for youth use. I guess that never got off the ground reading current comments! So if anyone expects WDC to build a dedicated facility you are dreaming, the only way to do it is to do it yourselves. A good starting point would be to go along to a Forum meeting and get it back on the agenda. It isn’t easy but it isn’t impossible!
  15. That might not be quite as simple as it sounds. When I lived in Bedlignton if you took the old Bedlingtonshire area there was enough political muscle in councillor numbers to get things changed. The fact that they never did may well be another thread! It seemed to me towing a single party line was much more important than representing their electorate! Something to ask about next time there is a knock at the door off anyone begging votes!
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