Thursday, December 01, 2011

Credit where credit's due

Politicians, like most people, enjoy being praised for doing things that people think are good things.  So getting a pothole filled when drivers have complained to us, sorting out a problem with drainage on a footpath, winning a fight in planning committee are all things we sometimes succeed in and enjoy being thanked - we're human after all.  Sometimes we don't succeed and then there's a feeling of despondency perhaps.  And sometimes a politician claims more credit than is really due, forgetting the efforts of the community towards the same end.
So it's timely,  as the subject is topical once more, to give great credit to Egglescliffe & Eaglescliffe council (formerly known as Egglescliffe Parish Council).  The council is currently working with a group of young people in an effort to provide a facility in the parish for wheeled sport - BMX, skateboards, micro-scooters and so on.  Young people who choose them as a way of taking enjoyable exercise and learning new skills are in trouble, understandably, for using the ramps and steps provided for pedestrians, wheelchair users etc outside Orchard Shops.  The ramps and steps provide the best facility they've got, but while using them they cause problems and danger to the people for whom they're designed. 
Various people have talked about the issue over the last 12 months, not always in public and certainly not always in writing.  At a meeting of the parish council's recreation committee yesterday morning we had reason to go back through minutes of the committee and its predecessor committees to look at decisions taken over land in the parish..  It was interesting to note that in minutes as far back as 1995 councillors were bemoaning the lack of facilities for skate boarding and the danger in which young people were putting themselves and others by doing it in inappropriate places.  Councillors were trying to work with ward councillors even then to get something done.  So all credit to the parish council for perseverance and for having the vision lacked by many at Stockton Council and a timely reminder to newly elected people that this isn't something new and solutions don't come about just because it's mentioned in a leaflet or a letter - it's a long hard road to success. 
It would be interesting to know whether any of those young people who were petitioning the parish council back then are around now, and indeed whether any of their children are involved in the current discussions.

1 comment:

orchard skater said...

For 16 years parish and borough council have failed to achieve anything other than hot air, reams of paper and another great strain on the biscuit budget.
Is it any wonder that our youth behave the way they do when they see the appalling way their elders act?