Thursday, 30 June 2011

Retirement - a complex issue

I'm trying to get my head round it.

People who work until they retire at 65 don't need pensions they die 18 months later.

The statement "We all are living longer" needs unpicking.

The people who live longer are the people who retire early.

So is it right that people who work until their official retirement age of say 65 and then die very soon after, should pay for the retirement of those that chose to retire early.

One thing that helps me live longer, I am convinced, is 'work' - it keeps my mind and body active while I face new challenges.

So explain this!

Could it be that I chose to work at my own pace, all my life. I also mainly did work that I wanted to so I looked forward to it and enjoyed it. I still can work very hard because I want to - but I can also stop and put my feet up when my body or mind tell me to stop.

I perhaps am able to keep my wonderful body machine in good running order - while others are putting theirs under incredible strain.

I've not heard talk of enabling people to work until their 100 at a pace that suits them.

We treat work as undesirable and something to avoid - yet it provides us with a great sense of self esteem and 'togetherness'.

Do we need to help people enjoy their work, feel appreciated, and do the amount that they are capable of.

Can we encourage a society where people actually want to work?

We're well on the way with the great number of people involved in voluntary work - which people may be doing when they 'retire' form 'work'.

Can we redefine work?

Can we rethink the economic crisis we're in so that we all want to work together to solve it;  rather running away from the work required and changes that need to happen in attitude.

A tall order, with many years of programmed thinking to try to rejig.

When does militant thinking come to a tired end? When we're exhausted and reflect that their must be an alternative that enables us to work together rather than against the other.

Are free enterprise and "laissez faire" good if those that pursue it give little thought to the needs of others and where money mania rules.

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

I have every sympathy with the teachers

Before you criticise - try to find out what it's like to be a teacher these days.

People who are familiar with what is involved with this career will realise that its not one that you can do well for more than 30 years. It's not one to stay in until you retire if you started young.

I believe there are statistics that show that when teachers retire they don't live much more than five years because they are exhausted and their bodies collapse.

It's a job people do because they get a lot of satisfaction from struggling against the odds doing a job that parents often don't do - giving students a purpose in life. In doing this it takes a lot out of the people that do it well.

Lets support those that give so much to the community and can give our children so much of their energy and sense of purpose.

Many of the problems in education are with the system ruled by politicians who have no idea what makes a good teacher.

Government behaviour like the present will discourage people from staying in teaching. Those with the qualities we admire will often find an alternative career doing something in society that far more satisfying than dealing with young people that are totally switched off because of an oppressive system.

If your children have a poor school, it could be that the excellent teachers have left during the last twenty years.

The brewery site (continued)

One can learn a lot more from this site

It would appear that the main source of parking is the existing car park on Brewery Street.

I could find no clear information about the underground car parking that was talked about.

The presence of the latter and its size is for me a crucial issue. We already have major problems in the town with parking facilities: it is important that any new development would not add to our problems.

We need to continue to be a shopping friendly town in every way possible.

I have used the contact facility on the above site to ask the following questions and await answers which will be published here:

"What is the size of the Underground Car park that you propose?

Could you give more information as to what physical changes to the Brewery St car park are proposed?

From your drawing it would appear that part of it will be excated to provide access to the underpass entrance to the store.

What price structure for the car park is envisaged? Will your customers get free parking? What prices for those that use the underground car park?

Can more detailed plans be seen elsewhere?"

I have also writen to SLDC planning department for information regarding detailed plans.

Sunday, 26 June 2011

Do we need a new breed of politicians?

People with integrity.

People in direct contact and one of the 'general public'.

At present we have a top down system which I suggest is failing because there is a mass of individuals who don't believe their leaders are acting on their own behalf, leaders they don't trust. People who in fact may well have the best interests of their mates at heart rather than Joe Bloggs - who they have little knowledge of.

They have the best interests of the country as their motivation but that country is not the one that the majority identify with.

Saturday, 25 June 2011

New use for Hartley's Brewery site

The proposal described here has a lot of merit - the main one being that it proposes an underground car park.

This is the thing that needs to be encouraged and be a condition of expansion of this site - it needs to be as large as possible and not be a token gesture in order to win planning permission.

All the small businesses that offer spicialised services in the surrounding streets (the massage parlour !) could then benefit and pressure would  be taken off existing car parking facilities and maybe even encourage the SLDC car parks to charge less -

What's needed of course is for the Town itself to take charge of car parking, our market, our roads and the whole commercial set up in Ulverston - some co-ordinated thinking needs to be put in place with a vibrant group of businessmen (women of course) with adventurous thinking to put Ulverston back on the map where it belongs.

The present leadership is sadly lacking - who will have the courage to take an overall view and bring all our interests together. I can think of only one person at the moment who fits the bill and he is very much involved up in running his own successful business. (It would never-the-less be good to have the benefit of his - and people like him - sound thinking - perhaps an Ulverston Think Tank - that is listened to)

What are the negative things that could happen?

Tesco could move in but then we could have an alternative - like Sainsburys.

The Coop could find it more difficult - though judging from the present friendly and popular service they would carry on as normal.

We have a busy road to cross - Brewery Street a pedestrian overpass would be ideal.

What are your thoughts?

Could the large traffic island nearby be put to better use? - a cafe in amongst the trees with glass shielding to protect from the noise and traffic fumes - another pedestrian over/under pass which also links to the other side of the A590.

These all need to be fed into the existing planning consultation that is happening at present. Will anyone get forward thinking people get  involved  or will Ulverston continue to die a slow death as is taking place up till now.

Come on James Airey (County, District and Town Councillor - new leader of the local conservatives) - you're ideally placed - show us some leadership.

(no, just to clarify, he's not the person I was thinking of above)

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

What's happening in Greece, and Bristol, is worth watching

It illustrates the failure of the concept that financial success is the most import thing in life. It seems the average Greek doesn't believe this.

Fairness and self worth comes far higher up the scale of what is important to them.

Here we are similarly fed the line that our standard of living is the most important thing in our lives and that we must weather the financial crisis - for whose benefit ?

The EU is made of of countries with very different sets of values. I'm sure the average Spaniard , Irish or Greek has no wish to emulate the Germans. The EU has been brought together to strengthen the finances of its countries - enabling better trade and stability.

What if the people of some counties don't value these attributes but instead value hard physical work, enjoying what is free: the countryside, human company in groups - making music, dancing and even a bit of open carousing.

What if we in this country are made up of different social groups with different values. How are we meant to accommodate each other? One section of Bristol doesn't think so.

Maybe we are not.

The bankers and the financially driven may go one way, the socially and "quality of life" guys the other, the 'who cares a fuck' another.

I suspect we too in this country are heading for a bust up. We seem to have lost faith in the kind of democracy that we are part of. A democracy that can be seen to favour the 'have's.

Cameron's single minded approach may lead to unavoidable conflict.

How strong is the glue that sticks divided Britain together?

Maybe some would prefer to live in a third world country, minimise world trade, value physical toil, become more self sufficient - live for each other?

Monday, 20 June 2011

Having reliable weather information

Jack alerted me to this wonderful site for the next 12 hours of weather.

It actually tells you the radar information for the rain clouds actually in the sky over the last few hours. But with this you learn to estimate where and when the rain in the sky is going to be over the next few hours. Spot on to the nearest km or is it still mile?

Far better than these secondhand forecasts - it's good fun guessing for yourself - as we know, the human brain is a powerful computer when trained with experience! Far more intuitive than any computer so far - well it's good to think this!

So my prediction is that at 8:00 this evening there will be a light sprinkling of rain all of which will have gone by 9:30 - it's now 4:30 !

Congratulations - young people

On Friday evening there was a 'party' at the picnic table at the join of the two paths up Gill Banks.

On my stroll to enjoy the evening air, I came across a noisy group of about twelve young lads and three girls  - some were well on the way to being drunk.

They were joined by a car driving, you could say, wrecklessly up the upper path and back down and disgorging another eight or more young lads in the Gill - car number noted - Y878 XFV.

They had promissed to clear up after them.

This, to their great credit they did (unless someone else came along and did it for them early Saturday).

Apart from the high jinks of dumping my bike, which I had carelessly left behind, in the beck, I have no complaints.

This activity led me on Saturday to consider a new ex-stream sport - riding at speed down the beck on a bike. But I resisted the temptation.

Sad however that so many young people turn to drink as a fun activity - resulting in early liver disease and responsible for the kind of antisocial behaviour that  we got when the Roxy was open till the early hours, but also, apparently, to a high proportion of hospital admissions as the NHS struggles to cope with what goes wrong in our society.

Perhaps a dance would have been more fun - there are plenty of talented musicians about. Or what about a midnight walk - or would the coughing cows, lurking behind the hedges, have put them off?

Saying goodbye to sanity

More and more we are experiencing a disharmony in our world.

Injustice is the flavour of the day.

It's always been in our lives but now we can react to it.

Buried emotions are surfacing in abundance.

It's time for a total change of direction in the way we deal with each other - or we shall totally destroy the society we live in.

It seems that we will have to experience pain - some of us a lot of it - before we come to our senses in the way the alcoholics do when they are dangled over the precipice of disaster.

Policians are out of touch because they manipulate a society that is slowly coming to the realisation that they don't like the way they behave.

In the extreme, countries like Greece are going down the path of dramatic change and turmoil.

Many of the same feelings bubble under the surface here in Britain - here in Ulverston.

For the most part, average people are apathetic  - they want others to solve their problems for them - the welfare state , the NHS and Education has encouraged this.

Even here in Ulverston politicians try to even control the behaviour of the local people as though they have some influence. They don't - for the most part, they are a ceremonial irrelevance . By using grand council chambers; following archaic procedures and dressing up ; they kid themselves that their views are important. In fact their behaviour and actions are for the most part pointless. We don't respect them.

They rarely follow important issues through.

Take the issue of our market:

Here are some wise words

However note the date - 2009 - so what has happened since then?

We've only got to lose one stall holder - David Gardiner at the plant stall and the whole of the Saturday Market would collapse and with it , inevitably in the long term, shopping in Ulverston.

The repair of the cobbles in Market Street  has been totally botched  - it looks good but was for the most part unnecessary - and is largely a waste of our money when this commodity is in short supply - as stated by the Amey contractor - Cumbria County Highways have always been crazy. Had the Highways Department supervised contractors in the past when they replaced the cobbles after digging holes then no work would have been needed. A point that United Utilities acknowledged when they returned to make good bad work they had done at the request of - a couple of individuals whose efforts weren't supported by our politicians at the time.

There are plenty of similar issues here in Ulverston: another very important one being car parking in the town with the extreme example of the little used Stockbrige Lane Car Park to which the official; response over a year ago - maybe two - on this blog - was "the matter was under review".

Fortunately we do have many groups of people who do get on and do things - though on occasions their activities are taken over by self important people making a name for themselves.

What we don't need are top down organisations which reflect the views of their "leaders" - organisations that promote apathy and a lack of involvement.

There are encouraging signs though. One local community is getting together to form the BUGs - they believe in action and not talk as exemplified by the transformation that has taken place in Mill Dam Park - a place of great importance to locals.

Councillors have shown little positive interest or support; in fact some have deliberately raised problems with what is being done, but the group has gone ahead despite the broken promises made by SLDC and a small amount of vandal activity.

The BUGs are having an event in Mill Dam Park this next Sunday - there's a very strong positive feeling in this group - why not come and join them.

Event in Mill Dam Park this next Sunday

Presenting an alternate and in many cases valid view

Ray makes some good but angry points in his "pulse"

Here's an extract.

Is it time for a total rethink in the way our society is run?

I'm finding I can't agree with any of the party's views.

Still waiting for the sane and very wise politicians to come forward.

We're all looking for fairness : first we need to deal with the bankers and their ilk .

+          +          +          +          +          +          +          +          +

Dear Mr. Cameron,

Please find below our suggestion for fixing the UK's economy.

Instead of giving billions of pounds to banks that will squander the
money on lavish parties and unearned bonuses, use the following plan.

You can call it the Patriotic Retirement Plan:

There are about 10 million people over 50 in the work force.

Pay them £1 million each severance for early retirement with the
following stipulations:

1) They MUST retire.
Ten million job openings - unemployment fixed

2) They MUST buy a new British car.
Ten million cars ordered - Car Industry fixed

3) They MUST either buy a house or pay off their mortgage -
Housing Crisis fixed

4) They MUST send their kids to school/college/university -
Crime rate fixed

5) They MUST buy £100 WORTH of alcohol/tobacco a week .....
And there's your money back in duty/tax etc

It can't get any easier than that!

P.S. If more money is needed, have all members of parliament pay back
their falsely claimed expenses and second home allowances

If you think this would work, please forward to everyone you know.

Let's put the pensioners in jail and the criminals in a nursing home.

This way the pensioners would have access to showers, hobbies and walks.

They'd receive unlimited free prescriptions, dental and medical
treatment, wheel chairs etc and they'd receive money instead of paying
it out.

They would have constant video monitoring, so they could be helped
instantly, if they fell, or needed assistance.

Bedding would be washed twice a week, and all clothing would be ironed
and returned to them.

A guard would check on them every 20 minutes and bring their meals and
snacks to their cell.

They would have family visits in a suite built for that purpose.

They would have access to a library, weight room, spiritual
counselling, pool and education.

Simple clothing, shoes, slippers, PJ's and legal aid would be free, on request.

Private, secure rooms for all, with an exercise outdoor yard, with gardens.

Each senior could have a PC a TV radio and daily phone calls.

There would be a board of directors to hear complaints, and the guards
would have a code of conduct that would be strictly adhered to.

The criminals would get cold food, be left all alone and unsupervised.
Lights off at 8pm, and showers once a week. Live in a tiny room and
pay £600.00 per week and have no hope of ever getting out.

Think about this (more points of contention):

Is it just me, or does anyone else find it amazing that during the mad
cow epidemic our government could track a single cow, born in Appleby
almost three years ago, right to the stall where she slept in the
county of Cumbria?

And, they even tracked her calves to their stalls. But they are unable
to locate 125,000 illegal immigrants wandering around our country.
Maybe we should give each of them a cow.

Also; Think about this ... If you don't want to forward this for fear
of offending someone -- YOU ARE PART OF THE PROBLEM! It is time for us
grumpy old folk of Britain to speak up!

Saturday, 18 June 2011

Anyone lost this?

Found in the Gill Banks undergrowth!

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Himalayan Balsam

We've now removed every plant of this invasive species that we can find from Gill Banks.

If you see any, could you let us know - 01229 480 347 - Here's what it looks like.

We're trying to avoid it blooming this year at all - in which case we should be rid of it.


Note: You didn't realise the danger of Himalayan Balsam?

Well it's not the worse perhaps - Japanese Knotweed is far more difficult to remove and also very invasive.

There's plenty here on the Internet.

Start here!

When will fraudsters learn to spell?

"Your account was accesed by a third part"

Reads the email that I received this morning.

Purporting to be from :

"Best Regards,
Colette Nugent
Head of Customer Communications

© Copyright HSBC Holdings plc 2011 - All rights reserved"

Pull the other one!

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Reeling back with anger

At present I've been knocked for six by the attitude of the SLDC.

I am trying to resolve the issue quietly with their chief executive, Lawrence Conway so that we don't have to make a big thing about what he proposes.

The issue concerns the going back on firm promises made and the suggestion that we are in the wrong rather than them.

I hope that my approach will be the end of the matter so that I won't have to dwell on the matter here in the future.

Monday, 13 June 2011

Survey of accomodation in the South Lakeland District

I've just filled a very thorough survey that SLDC have commissioned in order to determine the housing needs in their area.

They have it as an important issue to find housing for local people so providing as much information as we can will put pressure on them to enact helpful policies

The survey is being conducted here.

It's your chance to inform the council of what the needs in this area really are - particularly in reference to the need for affordable housing.

It occurs to me that it may be a way of alerting them about second homes and holiday cottages - fill it in as though you were the owner - the information on the property should still be valid.

Sunday, 12 June 2011

Himalayan Balsam

is an invasive species.

We tackled it last year - too late - when it was in bloom.

However this reduced its occurrence this year.

However now we aim to totally eradicate this plant from Gill Banks which should be fairly easy.

We have been working in the beck and its banks and pulling it out - with care we get the whole plant - with its roots.

We have a week or so to do the work as some of the plants are beginning to come into bloom.

We have nearly covered the whole area and then it will be mainly a question of spotting any plants that we have missed.

If you see any or want to help, give me a shout - 480 347.

If you want to get rid of it near you,  let me know - there's a fair bit down by Outcast - now's the time to tackle it.

Friday, 10 June 2011

The Dehumanisation of our lives

The problem is that it happens slowly, insidiously, by a gradual series of small steps.

Perhaps being older one is more aware that it has happened - we compare what was with what we have now.

There IS something that we can do about it.

To highlight my point please visit Smith  and Harrisons on King Street and ask for  a pound of two inch nails.

With this memory, now go to B&Q in Barrow and buy the same.

From this experience you'll learn a lot - something that, as they say, money can't buy.

Now recall the contrasting  experience of visiting Birkrigg last week end with spending and equal amount of time in front of tele.

Again you'll learn a lot from comparing the two a reflecting what you enjoy and why.

The value of these exercises is that you can modify your future experiences.

I can't speak for you but I value being treated as a real person , an individual who is slightly different from the rest - as a human.

Dinner calls

Thursday, 9 June 2011

A great sense of satisfaction

If Clr Hodgson is blocking the SLDC from helping in Mill Dam Park :

then we'll do it ourselves.

The Park is looking great !

And we've got twice as many flowering plants still to come.

We're there every Tuesday at 3:30.

Join us on June 25/26 weekend for Ulverston in Bloom - pottery making on the Sunday unless a downpour is forecast when it will be the Saturday.

Sunday, 5 June 2011

Perhaps you could help me sought out my thinking.

I think that Cameron is onto something when he is concerned about the preoccupation with being sexually attractive at too early an age.

Intuitively, I don't believe you can legislate this kind of thing but coming out in the open and voicing concern is helpful and will get people thinking and possibly altering priorities.

I was discussing this briefly with Amanda yesterday.

I cringe a little when I hear another friend of mine say to his small boys "Why don't you go and play with the girls over there" - which they don't because they are boys and those are girls.

I would prefer the statement - "Those children over there are having fun why don't you go and join them."

Do we have to make children always aware of their gender?

When it comes to teenagers mixing with each other, can't this be done on the basis of their interests without being aware of which sex they are. If all teenagers wore 'unisex' sportswear. Wouldn't this encourage kids to mix with each other as people with little regard for gender,

Wouldn't this be a good thing?

Having been in charge of the same  mixed form of 30 kids from age 11 through to 16, it seemed to be possible to encourage them in activities where they all joined in in a genderless way. Individuals developed self esteem from who they were deep inside and not what they looked like as a boy or girl.

In fact it was only one of them who had problems with school work and joining in that resorted to be a sexy girl with lads hanging round her on street corners.

The rest studied hard - did well in school work and went on to  succeed in jobs after school because they had developed confidence in themselves.

Don't some parents let their kids down by pandering to peer pressure and even encourage their kids to dress up and emphasise their sexuality.

I often feel sad for girls that are seen as 'beautiful' (and boys too) who trade on this between the ages of 15 and 35. Then their world appears to collapse when they no longer are seen as attractive because of their bodies and they have little in the way of a non sexual personality.

Isn't it best in the long run to help our kids to develop as contented self assured young people with their strong sense of being people with individual interests where sex doesn't cross their minds.

Should all school uniform be of a unisex nature. Loose comfortable tops and long pants as worn by people doing sport training that will assist young people to see each other primarily in an interesting and self assured way - the way we oldies that are passed it see each other which to a fair degree is genderless. That's OTT but shall we say, in a way we enjoy each others gender without sex being a primary concern (because we've been there, done that, got the tea, shirt thirty years ago).

As you gather I'm struggling on this issue and need some help sorting out my thinking.

The likes of Amanda and other younger parent friends mine have no doubt got a bit further sorting out their thinking here.

New thoughts on wind sound on Birkrigg

To all that are interested in the above.

It complements what we do with the Flags - could become a festival of 'the wind' by extending this to sound and kites.

Please help me make the most of what is here now so that we can repeat it for oursleves here in Ulverston in the future.

Please help me suss out the technology of as much of this as we can take in.

I understand how things are held up - it might be good to record where the holes are in the rock on Birkrigg so that we can repeat some of the activity ourselves in the future.

Also how to cut the slots in the bamboo

Also I think how to make the spheres down the arched walkway ( should be able to make these in pottery).

Need help with the waggly vibrating things and anything else that catches your fancy!

Please get in touch if you'd like to get involved in the future!

gd at

Birkrigg is a must today

If nothing else.

You'll meet a lot of people with a broad smile on their faces.

That's a rare occurence these days.

Make every effort even if you have to drag yourself up by very small movements on your hands and knees.

You'll find someone there to help you down.

What's it all about?

Listen, listen, listen.

Lots of creativity in making sounds from the wind.

Harmonic Fields

If you get the chance go several times in different conditions.

Lots of ideas to spark off other activities . . . .

Ulverston will never be the same.

That's true of course every day of the year with the people who live here.

Saturday, 4 June 2011

Events worth noting

It's only five weeks until the town is buzzing with

song, music and dance 

for a whole weekend

Furness Tradition is back in Ulverston

July 10th to 12th 

Friday night consists of an informal gathering in The Red Rose Club in Ulverston town centre in the form of a Cumbrian "merry neet" with dance, song, stories and entertainments from guests and locals alike to get the weekend off to a fine start.
Amounderness Saturday - the main festival day: we take to the streets in Ulverston town centre with music,traditional crafts and dance displays. Various performances, food and trade stalls are based in the town’s Coronation Hall. A number of local pubs hold informal sessions during the day.
In the evening the Coronation Hall is the venue for the main festival concert and dance.
Sunday - survivors day with a town centre dance display, then at Lantern House - workshops, session and farewell afternoon concert 

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Sharon Shoesmith - her supporters

So which paper do you read?

In an article dated November 15, 2008 in The Times :

"The headteachers of 61 state-funded primary schools and seven secondary schools in the North London borough say her resignation would be detrimental to their pupils.

In they open letter the say they have been compelled to show their support for Shoesmith and consider her “an outstanding public servant”.

They added: “Should the Child P case result in her loss from the borough, then our children and young people will lose one of their most effective, determined and committed champions.”

“Initially, in her role of director of education, Shoesmith transformed a demoralised education service, derided by many headteachers, into one with which we are now proud to be associated.

“The exceptional rate of improvement of many of the borough’s schools would not have been possible without the support of the service that Ms Shoesmith rebuilt, revitalised and led.

“Since more recently becoming the director of Haringey’s Children and Young People’s Service, Shoesmith has continued to work relentlessly and with a determination that the service she leads and develops ensures best practice in providing education, care, support and protection for all of our young people.”

Let's look dispassionately at the evidence that is emerging :

Here on the 15th September 2010:

Appearing before the education select committee, Shoesmith said

 "To construct a narrative so simple – which told the public that Peter Connelly died because Haringey was uniquely weak, sack everyone from the director to the social workers and all would be well – was quite frankly absurd."
She said the case had had a profound impact on children's services. "The whole sector is now motivated by a fear of failure, and not the conditions for success."
The number of children coming into care had increased by 30% and the number subject to a child protection plan had doubled, she said.
But such measures appeared to have had scant impact on the number of children dying at the hands of parents and close relatives. "These are shocking statistics and statistics that are not known," she said. They are absolutely too abhorrent for us to even consider."

And here in the Telegraph 1st April 2010 :
The report into Haringey Council's handling of the Baby P scandal was "beefed up" to help justify the removal of the controversial head of children's services Sharon Shoesmith, her lawyers have claimed. 

Previously undisclosed documents reveal how Ofsted inspectors deleted relevant emails and ignored positive aspects of their findings, focusing instead on harsh criticisms of management.

It has also been alleged that changes to the report were made following interference and pressure from the office of Ed Balls, the Children's Secretary.

 And there's plenty more 9th September 2009

 Eventually we will perhaps get to the bottom of this case and correct judgements that many people have jumped to without understand the facts. 

I say perhaps but it appears to be deeply ingrained as to who is thought to be in the wrong and I don't think most people are/will be interested in knowing the details.

They have their version of events and have closed minds to any other version.


Croftlands Park a great success

There's a great atmosphere here at the moment.

Kids are having a wonderful time.

They are tackling challenges to suit their ability.

SLDC have done a great job of choosing equipment with varying degrees of risk involved.

There are a wide range of activities to suit different ages and the layout has been thoughtfully put together.

Parents I spoke to yesterday were full of praise.

The children play really well together and the adults are beginning to dare talk to each other as they, for the most part, sit around and watch.

The presence of this park in Ulverston owes much to Phil Lister speaking up when he was a SLDC councillor at a meeting when Windermere declined the offer of a theme park there.

Phil piped up quickly with "If you don't want the money, we'll have it".

The money was thus earmarked for Ulverston several years ago.

After some discussion Phil, a Labour Councillor, persuaded the other councillors not to rip up existing equipment in Lightburn Park but agreed to support the Conservatives in their bid to have the equipment on Croftlands.

This was a great decision; the equipment benefitted from all the extra space available on the site on Central Drive.

There have been some moans about the lack of parking for cars but I can't see this as a serious problem as there are a lot of alternative places.

Yes Croftlands will get "invaded" by lots of people from outlying areas. but this will in the long term be to their benefit. The kind of people being attracted have very positive outlooks and amny great friendships will result.

As someone very interested in supporting parks in general; Mill Dam and Lightburn in particular; I hope a similar spirit can be encouraged at both these parks through the efforts made by local people in their park.

Work in Mill Dam is going really well - Lightburn, apart from the Skateboarding facility and one new piece of equipment, is on hold because of lack of enthusiasm in a potentially difficult area.

Maybe Lightburn will draw some strength from seeing what can be done on Croftlands and by a small group, with little official support, the BUGs,in Mill Dam.

So well done Phil Lister and the design team at SLDC which includes the overworked Engineer Peter Clarke and his behind the desk counterpart Tony Naylor.

Well done - we need a plaque to honour them.

I could make a ceramic one if this would be appropriate.