Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Don’t dither over another bombsite

WEYMOUTH Pavilion’s whole future hangs in the balance at the moment and its fate rests with a full council meeting on February 21st.

Do councillors back campaigning attempts by various groups to save it or do they feel the Pavilion is beyond saving and vote for its demolition?

Whatever the choice by our elected representatives, I suggest that they and the entire borough cannot follow a similar path to the course taken by the authority when it masterminded the building of Weymouth’s new town centre anchored by Debenhams.

People may recall that matters dragged on then not for months but for a decade, giving the area its famous “bombsite” description.

Perfectly viable businesses were shut down, boarded up and left to fester with all the associated vandalism, broken windows and peeling paint that created the sort of image a tourist town needed like a hole in the head.

If the council has learnt its lesson from that then any decision to support voluntary groups taking over running the Pavilion must be backed up by total commitment so this course of action is given a fighting chance of success.

If councillors opt for demolition then the “bombsite” mentality must not be followed and the site should be cleared as quickly as possible.

A theatre and apartments scheme should then be supported if one can be found but, if it can’t, then there must be some sort of Plan B for another possible development or use because keeping such a prominent site as a crudely flattened car park is not a long term option.

ANYONE looking to book a holiday had better hurry and get it in before a very dodgy “end of the world” period between 2029 and 2036.

It is then that the 300 metre-wide asteroid, Apophis, named after the Egyptian demon of destruction and darkness, is due to influence whether you should pack the mankini or just settle for the usual nuclear fallout suit to protect you from the English weather.

Apophis got astronomers very excited with some fearing there could be as much as a one in 45 chance of the asteroid actually hitting Earth in 2029. This was later revised to anticipate the object missing us by a mere 30,000km.

That said, Apophis is due to pay us another visit in 2036 with a pass 14 million kms away although astronomers say there is still a one in 200,000 chance of it hitting Earth because of possible changes to its trajectory.

Such debate is clearly being treated seriously because the threat has a suitably threatening demon name, something which would not be conveyed if it had been called Andy the Asteroid.

Also, how are ordinary residents and holidaymakers supposed to tell the difference between normal summer conditions in Weymouth and those caused by the planet being struck by an asteroid?

Both sets of circumstances are likely to involve torrential rain, howling winds and unbelievably high parking charges, so here is a tip to help spot the difference.

Perhaps the trickiest to differentiate between is the total blotting out of the sun caused by an asteroid hit and the total blotting out of the sun caused by a normal English summer.

The key here is that gloomy conditions caused by an asteroid hit are unlikely to include a stern warning that you haven’t paid for your deckchair while gloomy conditions associated with an English summer almost certainly will.

So get that holiday in now. I hear Egypt is nice, but watch out for demons!

Well, does anybody still think it was worth it?

IT’S happening and boy is this a change from the usual British stoicism!

Awful delays for motorists in the Chickerell Road area of Weymouth at Fiveways might see a driver take as much as five minutes to travel a distance normally covered in seconds, but something happened the other day to show that many motorists are feeling that enough is enough.

The first hint of trouble came when traffic on Lanehouse Rocks Road couldn’t even get into Lynch Road and, when they did finally squeeze in, they found that traffic was going nowhere fast.

Drivers sat there fuming quietly for a couple of minute and then five minutes, but many completely lost their tempers when there had been no hint of forward progress for nearly ten minutes.

First one horn then a veritable fanfare of anger blared out to draw attention to the holdup which, start to finish, never saw a single workman bother to come down the queue and explain what was happening.

Things were finally sorted out somewhere, but some of those in the queue were desperately trying to get to a funeral and were furious at the hold-up which meant it took some drivers a quarter of an hour to travel barely 200 metres.

It underlined just how misleading some official authority statements can be when we were all urged to be grateful for 18 months of traffic misery leading up to the Olympic Games because it was giving Weymouth 20 years of road improvements telescoped into a fraction of that time.

This implied it would be a much quieter period for roadworks after the Games. Anyone still think that?


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