Incidentally, I have yet to hear why Ilfracombe gets a Rubbish Councillor from Fremington to act as our “ambassador”, rather than one of our own.
Say what you will,
School dinners make you ill
And Davy Crockett died of shepherds’ pie.
All school din-dins
Come from pig bins
Out of town.
It seems to me that the old scheme, feeding pigs, was rather better than turning the stuff into compost.
However, overall, I suspect that the new arrangements will simply lead to more fly tipping and more seagulls.
The cuts to the refuse collection service are all part of a pattern of cuts to public services that we have experienced over the last few years. Street lighting, police, fire service, hospitals, old age care, mental care – all have suffered. And yet it seems we still have enough money to build a high speed railway to cut a few minutes off the journey time between London and Birmingham. Okay, I know that ministers are now claiming that the real reason for HS2 is because of capacity constraints, but, if this is so, why not simply enlarge the traditional service, which would be enormously cheaper.
When HS2 was originally proposed, costs were estimated at £30 BILLION! As if that were not enough, by 2013, the estimate had risen to £42.6 BILLION, and the Institute of Economic Affairs estimates that the final cost will be over £80 billion (source: Wikipedia). The Guardian reported recently that the current estimated cost was £55 billion. By the time it is completed, tickets will be so expensive that only billionaires and businessmen on expenses will be able to afford them.
Do you think, maybe, that someone, somewhere has got their priorities mixed up?
Just 1% of the cost of HS2 would fund the whole of the so-called deficit on North Devon’s health spending up to 2020 and beyond. 2% and, in addition, we could dual the whole of the A361, immeasurably enhancing North Devon’s economy. 3% and we could do all that and substantially improve rail services to the SouthWest.
Oh, yes. Someone has definitely got their priorities wrong.
I say it probably won't attract many locals – probably there will be some, but, by and large, I would expect most will remain loyal to their current preferences. After all, it’s not like Wetherspoons which undercut the prices of most local competitors. Quite the reverse.
I think the only problem will be if Costa is merely the harbinger of the arrival of many chains. That would push rents in the High Street up to levels which would probably be unaffordable to local businesses and so would change, probably for ever, the present quirky nature of the street. On the plus side, however, this would bring more money into the town, would almost certainly bring more jobs and so would enhance the overall prosperity. So it’s not all bad.
Did you read Oliver Tooley’s book “Children of the Wise Oak”? I have mentioned it a couple of times previously, but, if you haven’t heard about it, it’s a fantasy mainly for Young Adults, although I think any reader interested in Fantasy would enjoy it. Olli is a local author who funded the publication of the book partly through a Kickstarter appeal. If you haven’t read it, why not try? You can get it from our High Street bookshop or from Amazon, or even from the author (see his Facebook page). If you have read it, please leave a review on Amazon,
Apparently, having a lot of reviews, whether they are good, bad or indifferent, encourages Amazon to promote the book, which, with luck, would lead to more sales. You don’t need to have bought the book from Amazon to leave a review. Even something short like “I enjoyed this book” would help.
The other Sunday, I was in Alfie & the Kaiser enjoying their excellent carvery, when a nice couple approached me to say that they enjoyed my column in the Journal. It made my day! Sitting here at my computer, I sometimes wonder if I am writing for anyone’s benefit other than my own, so, when someone not only admits to reading it, but actually enjoys it, that is great. If you enjoy the blog, by all means let me know, but also let me know if you think there is anything I could do better. If you see me in town, by all means come and say “hello”, or leave a comment, using the comments form at the end of the blog.
And finally. Excellent dinner in 71. Starter: lentils, venison sausage and curry oil, just proves a good chef can make even lentils not merely edible but enjoyable. Main course, fillet steak and chips, and finished with my favourite, summer pudding. Peter, the chef, tells me that he will be adding some game to the menu and that his famous partridge main course will probably be on the menu soon – something to look forward to.
Talking of a good chef making an otherwise inedible food palatable, many years ago, I used to go to a restaurant in London, Thomas de Quincey. Now, I loathe spinach, but they used to prepare it with cream and garlic and it was delicious. Mind you, it would probably have been even better if they had left out the spinach!