Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Will a few logos protect our own identity?

PERCEPTION is everything we are told, so there were a few wry smiles when Weymouth and Portland councillors recently approved putting authority stickers on visiting West Dorset vehicles.

People might think this a little strange but the move is all to do with the so-called partnership between Weymouth and Portland and West Dorset which is seeing the two authorities pool resources to save money.

That has also seen workforces trimmed, but there have been strong rumblings among Weymouth and Portland staff about how West Dorset has come out on top with the new overall chief executive coming from West Dorset and the lion’s share of senior positions also going to West Dorset personnel.

Many Weymouth and Portland staff feel it has effectively been a takeover by West Dorset and it appears that residents are starting to think the same way.

West Dorset has 33 vehicles in its fleet and Weymouth and Portland only 11, so merging the two workforces has inevitably meant that a large number of West Dorset badged vehicles are being seen in the borough.

A recent full council meeting in Weymouth was told: “Regrettably, despite assurances to the contrary, this has added fuel to the mistaken impression among residents that Weymouth and Portland Borough Council has been taken over by West Dorset.”

To combat this and protect Weymouth and Portland’s identity it was suggested that WPBC logo decals be produced for all vehicles used in the borough at a rough cost of £30 per vehicle for an overall cost of £990 to cover vehicles from West Dorset visiting Weymouth and Portland.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but I think it will take more than a few Weymouth and Portland signs stuck on West Dorset vehicles to stop residents thinking that a wary eye needs to be kept on West Dorset’s growing influence in the borough.

Who gets given more rights, victim or criminal?

A COUPLE of centuries ago a little boy and girl stole some bread and were hanged for their heinous offence.

Authority’s response to crime has come a long way since then but so has crime’s response to authority. Potential punishment is only an effective deterrent if criminals are frightened of it and threatening to lock someone away for a while with colour television and three square meals a day doesn’t carry the same threat as a flogging or forced labour in a quarry.

Woe betide any modern court which gives a criminal any sentence which remotely infringes their sensibilities or, perish the thought, their human rights.

Victims have almost become the criminals and, in many cases, are frequently far worse cared for. So the recent police crackdown on crime in Littlemoor has quite rightly been well received by long suffering residents whose lives have been made a misery by the antics of a few who feel themselves above the law.

Sadly, as is often the case with such actions, it can spark a few single figure IQ pillars of society into going out and setting fire to a few more things in a bluster display of bravado.

But surely even the most hardened of thugs might be left shaking their heads at one of the latest arson targets - a children’s playground.

It was welcome news that three arrests were quickly made in connection with the arson.

They include - two boys and a girl, all aged between 14 and 16 years.

Crying into my beer - or maybe not!

HORROR of horrors! Weymouth’s October Beer Festival is under threat because of uncertainty over its venue at Weymouth Pavilion Ocean Room.

Maybe a community group will step in to run the Pavilion complex - which is due to close on May 31st - and maybe it won’t which leaves beer lovers in a ticklish situation.

The Ocean Room is booked for October 4th-5th but that won’t be worth a glass of water if the building is boarded up and deserted with smashed windows and a few tasteful graffiti messages.

Leaving aside the obvious economic benefits to the town of 1,500 people attending the event, can we really afford to miss out on the joys of Balding Bert’s Best Bitter, Jockstrap Old Peculiar, Vomit Express and Dr Holmes’ Finest Porter Enema? I think not!

Experiencing that first tasty sip and that gentle swirl over the tastebuds followed by that frantic dash for the Gents is what has made beer festivals so popular.

There has to be a permanent place in our affections for Simple Cedric’s Cyanide Cider, Double Vision, Day’s End Dark Destroyer and Muttering Michael’s Majestic Mild.

So let’s all throw our weight behind the campaign to keep the Pavilion going and ensure these brain bashing brews can once more be cautiously enjoyed this autumn.

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