Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Do something, DCC!

AND the Lord said “Let there be traffic lights” and lo, there were traffic lights, and great was the woe of the people of Weymouth.

This woe reached its latest peak over the May bank holiday when queues of biblical proportions built up in the town.

Traffic jams from the town centre right back to the Southill roundabout and beyond, the seafront gridlocked as far as you could see and Westwey Road just a metal snake of vehicles.

So I’m sure you’ll all be delighted to hear one good piece of news... namely that Dorset County Council doesn’t plan on doing anything because accident figures are apparently OK for such junctions.

Thank God for that. I feel better already, but just one small query over council complacency.
Have they actually considered that it is almost impossible to have an accident if you aren’t moving?!

My view is that, having spent millions putting in a nice shiny new high-tec traffic light system, DCC is highly unlikely to admit there is anything wrong with it.

It is the old, old story. People close to and experiencing a problem are largely ignored by those for whom the same problem is safely away from their own doorsteps.

DCC has to pay lip service to complaints and it has done so, but actually doing something about the congestion?

Reaction could be summed up as: “We’ll look into it immediately and form a sub-committee. Yes, a sub-committee. That’s what’s needed. But it mustn’t have the power to make a decision because all refusals to do anything must come from the main authority.”

Meanwhile the rest of us face ridiculous journeys where travelling round Weymouth is easy until you hit the town centre which is just a total “no go” area.

And don’t forget. This was just one bank holiday. When the summer season kicks off we can expect such chaos almost every day. 

Good job DCC’s in Dorchester isn’t it! 

Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose

WELL, all the election huff and puff is over and we now have Richard Drax back as our MP.

As that famous rock band The Who said: “Meet the new boss, same as the old boss”  but at least the all-party snowstorm of election leaflets will now stop.

Mr Drax has proved to be an energetic MP and, while I could go on to highlight how an effective politician is a rarity, this joke sent in to me by a reader does it far better.

While stitching a cut on the hand of a 75-year-old farmer, the doctor struck up a conversation with the old man.

Eventually the topic got around to politicians and their role as our leaders and the old farmer said: “Well, as I see it, most politicians are Post Tortoises.”

Not being familiar with the term, the doctor asked him what a “post tortoise”' was.

The old farmer said, "When you're driving down a country road and you come across a fence post with a tortoise balanced on top, that's a post tortoise."

The old farmer saw the puzzled look on the doctor's face so he continued to explain. “You know he didn't get up there by himself, he doesn't belong up there, he doesn't know what to do while he's up there, he's elevated beyond his ability to function and you just wonder what kind of dumb arse put him up there to begin with."

Enjoy the next five years!

What’s in a vowel? Pass the spanners!

EVERY now and again you come across a tale which is so funny it is a little gem.

I’ll spare his blushes as he’s already had a load of stick for this, but a well known member of Rotary was in a hurry to get an envelope in the post.

Fortunately he saw a post box in the heart of Weymouth, in St Mary Street and gratefully popped his envelope through the slot only to recoil in horror when he realised that what he had thought said ‘LETTER’ actually said ‘LITTER’!

The problem was that he could see his envelope in the rubbish bin but he couldn’t reach it.

Luckily some workmen arriving at a nearby site had a set of spanners that they agreed to loan him.

The relieved Rotarian then used them to dismantle the litter bin, extract his envelope and then bolt the litter bin back together again.

Gleeful colleagues, who spent most of the day ragging him for the incident, could only saythe incident had their ‘stamp’ of approval!

Sex stops council meeting

IT was a serious debate. Well it was meant to be a serious debate, but how can you concentrate on the nuances of argument when a couple are having rampant sex nearby?

OK, the bonking couple in question were only seagulls, but they were making so much noise that they drowned out the arguments during an important council committee in Weymouth.

The room was stuffy, some of the windows were open and seagull love was blasting through at full volume.

Very distracting stuff, but I suppose the seagulls weren’t best pleased to have to go through their mating ritual against a backdrop of droning humans just a few yards from their perch.

Well I hope those pesky birds made the most of it because there will be no chance of them repeating their assignation next year because their perch will have been demolished for redevelopment... maybe!


DAVE Abbott was born in Swindon, moved to Weymouth in 1964 and went to school at Westhaven Junior School and Westham Secondary Modern School. He studied catering and was a chef for several years before going into retail including 19 years with the former Weymouth DIY shop Dodgsons. Currently he runs a beach kiosk.

WHY do you live in Weymouth?
Because I love the place and I couldn’t think of anywhere else I would rather live.

WHERE do you go for your holidays?
Normally in the UK. I love walking so it tends to be West Wales, the Lake District, Yorkshire and Cornwall, all over.

WHAT is your favourite time of the year?
Summer, because it always has happy people and lots of colour and vibrancy. The whole town comes alive.

WHAT is your favourite film?
Papillon because I have read the book, it is a true story and it was amazing acting by Steve McQueen.

WHAT is the scariest thing that has ever happened to you?
Getting knocked off my bike by a hit and run driver who didn’t stop. It smashed by helmet, cut my legs and shook me up for ages afterwards. Fortunately, a passing woman took the driver’s number and he got his cum-uppance later!

IF you could live your life again what would you be?
A professional cricketer. I love the game, I played it for most of my life at local level and I only gave up when my knees gave out.

WHICH three people would you invite to your dream dinner party?
Gary Sobers because he is a cricket legend and probably the greatest all rounder who has ever lived; Thomas Hardy because I enjoy reading his books and I would love to get an insight into the man; and Mark Knopfler of Dire Straits because I love his music and because he is a magician with lyrics.

WHAT would you do if you won the Lottery?
I would probably go to Australia for the culture, for the cricket and for the Outback, but I’d still want to come back to Weymouth.

WHAT do you hope the future holds?
Retirement. I want to work but my knees don’t!

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

No real threat to Tories

THE Tories retained control of East Devon District Council, albeit with a slightly reduced majority.

No surprises there then and we should congratulate all those who won a seat at last week’s election.

A majority reduced from 25 to 15 seats will make little or no difference to the running of East Devon but we should not underestimate the performance from the Independents who between them grabbed 16 seats.

Although they failed to unseat too many of the big hitters with leader Paul Diviani, deputy leader Andrew Moulding, chairman Graham Godbeer and planning chairman Helen Parr, all retaining their seats, the East Devon Alliance did win 10 places on the council, the most successful challenge by a rival party since the council came into being in 1974.  With the Lib Dems’ six seats, down from 10, the Tories are unlikely to get it all their own way - and that’s good for local democracy.

One unacceptable part of the local elections was the failure of EDDC to announce the results of the town and parish elections until mid-morning on Monday. All the votes were counted on Saturday but not posted on the EDDC website.

A number of candidates were up in arms over this, describing it as an affront to the parishes. I tend to agree.

Neil Parish and Hugo Swire, as expected, retained their parliamentary seats for the Conservatives, but a word of congratulations here  to Claire Wright, county councillor for Ottery St Mary, who polled more than 13,000 as an Independent without party machinery behind her.

I was personally disappointed that David Laws lost his Yeovil seat. I am not a Lib Dem but I thought he was a great constituency MP and always handled the press superbly.