Monday, February 11, 2008

Former Glory Beckons

I took the kids down to watch the major works going on along the Rock Walk on Saturday, joining several hundred others enjoying the Winter sunshine.

The sheer scale of the works involved is breathtaking and it is immediately obvious when you get there why it was necessary to shut the road for six weeks and why this project is costing hundreds of thousands of pounds. There is no doubt that the finished gardens will be completely stunning after settling down, and once again visitors and residents will be ably to fully enjoy the gardens as they were originally intended.

But as I was watching what is in effect a jumbo pruning exercise going on I couldn't help but ask myself 'how on earth did we allow it to come to this?'.

It seems to me that for a very long time our authorities have simply not been doing regular maintenance on Rock Walk with the result that more than twenty years worth of maintenance is now having to be done in one go. I am a quite a keen gardener, and I learned a long time ago that the best way of maintaining any kind of garden (or building come to that), is to do a little but do it often.

This derogation of regular maintenance over a long period has caused similar problems to other natural and man-made infrastructure, Abbey Sands seafront, the Banjo, in Palace Gardens, Oldway Mansion, the Cliff Railway, Paignton Harbour and Haldon pier; all of which are going to cost far more in repairs than would have been the case if the council had been told to do regular maintenance annually.

Somebody, somewhere, must have decided not to maintain these facilities properly and spend the money on something else. Who made that decision? What happened to the money that we have paid in rates and taxes all these years that clearly hasn't been spent on these important tasks?

Will anyone be held accountable? - sadly, probably not. The Councillors involved have mostly been voted out of office and many of the officers will no doubt claim they were just following orders.

There must at least be a lesson here for the future, Torbay residents must make sure that never again are our natural assets allowed to become so dangerously decrepit.


Anonymous said...

Former glory beckons in more ways than one, I reckon at the next election -at last- Torbay will have a Conservative MP!

I especially agree with you over Mp's allowances, don't go native when you do get in like Adrian Sanders did.

Keep up the good work,

Diane Freeman said...

I wish you would take up the cudgels for our streets too. They are a disgrace.

Self discipline and civic duty seem to be so very sadly lacking. It's not just 20 years of neglect over town infrastructure. It's also the fact that young people feel they are owed respect from their betters!

I'm tired of subsidising loutish behaviour under the banner of "social inclusion".

Anonymous said...

Diane, it's certainly not just the 'young' who lack self-dicipline and civic duty: it seems that every other person in Torbay expects the rest of us to pick up after him/her.

Anonymous said...

I agree that it isn't just young people, there is a real malaise in society with more and more people showing a lack of basic courtesy for others.

While we were down watching the work going on there was a boat with a water skier just by the pier, he had a stereo system that was so loud it was like a PA system and he didn't care one jot if the rest of us wanted the piece of our sunny afternoon shattering or not.

We are in danger of losing the ability to live peacefully side by side on this crowded island - unless people re-learn the necessity to show basic consideration to others our quality of life will continue to deteriorate.

I blame the parents.

Marcus Wood said...

Is that a young 'hoodie' in the foreground?