Dear Chief Secretary to the Treasury,
I'm afraid to tell you there's no money left.
Signed, Liam Byrne

(Outgoing Labour Chief Secretary to the Treasury. May 2010)

Monday, 31 May 2010

Rules and restrictions.

Nothing new really, except the reasons given, because Rigby Town's Park has 'no ball games' signs almost everywhere, always has had. It's because the place was intended for families and/or grown-ups to take a healthy stroll along tarmacked paths whilst admiring the carefully manicured floral displays rather than doing strenuous physical activity. There's a sports place next to the secondary school where people can run round a track or kick footballs, but can't play golf - which, actually, seems quite sensible. And, of course, Rigby Town's pretty Park isn't labelled "Playing Fields" by the council.

Walsall is a bit different from Rigby Town because Walsall has some 'Playing Fields' (yes, those places you take the kiddies to play) with a lovely 'no ball games' sign. The sign is ...
... for health and safety reasons as part of the park in on a landfill site
It isn't a new sign, and it isn't a brand new regulation either. According to Nigel Ilsley, Walsall Council Parks Manager ...
'A sign saying no ball games was put up a few years ago on Broadway West playing fields after land contamination was discovered at the site.
Crikey! That sounds nasty. There must be lots of fences and great big "Keep out!" and "Contaminated Land!" signs too - to protect people from the dangerous errm, stuff, they found there.

But no, seems not ...
'The playing fields remain popular and a number of events are hosted there but unfortunately we have had to stop ball games taking place on the site for health and safety reasons.

Actually Nigel, that is an absolutely lousy excuse and you know it.

Think it through, will you, just for a moment. Do you understand what "contaminated" means?

It means
impure by exposure to or addition of a poisonous or polluting substance
So, what are you (and Walsall Council) going to do about it? Really going to do about it?
'Walsall Council in conjunction with Walsall Star Sports Club is continuing to explore funding opportunities which would allow us to carry out the necessary work to bring the site back into use.'
Still not good enough Nigel. If the land really is 'contaminated' it should be sealed off, otherwise some clever clogs will work out they can claim damages. If it isn't, and you just want some money to upgrade facilities, then be open about it - and ask properly.

And with that Mrs R will move on to another ban.

In case you haven't noticed, John Ward in Medway has flagged up a Facebook petition to Save the Budgieman. It seems that
... the local council (Southwark) has banned the long-established Budgieman (with a history of more than thirty years, for goodness' sake!) from continuing to perform on the South Bank in London.
Mrs R has no idea why Southwark has made this decision, and she thinks it's a bit mean. So, as she isn't on Facebook so can't join the protest group, she hopes this little bit of publicity will help his cause.
(Picture from the Budgieman's website)


Quiet_Man said...

Perhaps Nigel Ilsley, Walsall Council Parks Manager thinks the playing fields are contaminated by players ;-)
After all it would be much easier to maintain if people didn't actually use it for its purpose.

Witterings From Witney said...

And you expect logic from a bureaucrat, Mrs. R? And there was I thinking you were one smart lady.

Maybe Walsall should suffer the same fate as Budgieman and be 'given the bird'?

By the way, I have answered your 'Ouch', over to you......

Mrs Rigby said...

Perhaps they'd really prefer to stop football, or perhaps they want some money for better football pitches. It's all very odd.

@ WfW
Replied, again.
And no, logic often the weak point of bureaucrats, maybe that's why they attack when challenged.