The curse of ilkleyrocks

The very first post on this site was an attack on the ludicrous visit baht'at country campaign being launched in the region.

Good news, then, that it's being wound up. Or down. Depending which way you look at it.

Ilkley Rocks gets there. Eventually.

Cusson n shrieking

In the wonderfully batty letter by Mrs Cussons to the Gusset this week (of which more reference anon), she suggests that the indigent population of the country are irritated that they have no rights. Frankly, I have no sympathy. If they can't be bothered to do anything but lay about, what do they expect?

Or have standards of English amongst our local Tory grandees gone to hell in a handbasket ?

The mighty asboosh

Glad to see our beloved leaders are looking at how they can introduce ASBOs, now that parish councils are being given the power to do so.

ASBOs, of course, are given for things that are not criminal actvities. Like putting your feeet up on the station seating, or riding your bicycle on the pavement, or hanging around in groups looking threatening (which, frankly, is done by anyone under the age of sixty in this place). However, the breach of them is a criminal offence, leading to a penalty of up to five years in jail. Thy're a way of criminalising people without having to prove anything in law.

Private Eye has a recent case of a yout' who was given an ASBO not to congregate with more than three fellow youts'. He was arrested for breach of it. In a youth club. Attending a session on 'Curing anti-social behaviour'.

GIven the arrogance of our current council leader 'Manfred' Mann (so obviously Tired of Trying, Bored With Lying, Scared of Dying) towards those critical of the junta, one can well imagine him sending them out in huge numbers.

Skaters first, of course, they've got that nice new park to skate in, why would they want to grind anywhere else? Then the anti-precept campaigners, Dundas and Schirn. Then Fraser wil be next on his list---an ASBO against writing to the local press.

The countdown has begun. Altogether now...5 4 3 2 1

(I apologise to anyone born after 1980 who might not get the musical jokes)

Echelon--*bleep*--report home

Why is everyone up in arms about the idea of a wind farm at Kettlesing?. Apparently, it will mar the view from our moor. Well, of course it won't. Leaving aside the beauty of such things, especially on the remoteness of the moor, there's something else blotting the view to a much greater extent. But, funnily, none of our Tory councillors ever mention it. Menwith Hill. Which is not only a blot on the landscape, but it's a threat to our security as well. Maybe the wind farm is a clever idea by Lindis Percy and her friends at the peace camp to isrupt the listening power of the station? Clever, very clever...

Lord Acton

Well who heard the proposals from the government to give the power to local and parish councils to impose on-the-spot fines for anti-social behaviour?. Can you imagine? It's what they've always wanted, greasy boy Gibbons there with his parking tickets, dominatrix Hawksworth waiting to punish the naughtiness of the non-Conservative. *brrrrr* No wonder they're saving all that money--it's the pay for the black uniforms and rubber truncheons.

Jack Hughes

A competition for you--find a local, borough or parish council that is more incompetent than Ilkley's. Not corrupt, not venal, just totally lacking in intelligence. Consider the evidence: 1) There's the massive underspend. Taking a precept is one thing, when it's needed. But when we're looking at taking £100,000+ into next financial year, there's been a serious lack of financial planning. The precept is patently NOT needed for administration of the local parish--which was what we were told originally. And now they run around like the proverbial blue-arsed councillors they are, finding things to spend it on. Like new toilets. Only new toilets are going to be paid for by Bradford. So, where is the money going to go? Perhaps it could save some of our proper heritage like the Panorama Stones. 2) The redevelopment of The Grove. No consultation, just trees and stones ripped up. The level of the pavement altered to make it inacessible to the disabled. New stones that turn the pavement to sheet ice. The theft of all our bins. 3) Those bloody lamp-posts. Nobody asked for them, but there they appeared, dwarfing some of our best buildings, placed in entirely the wrong position (sometimes just moving them a metre left or right will restore the proper vista). And then they completely fail to take away the old ones, so we double the amount of street furniture we have. And then the councillors responsible have the nerve to complain about shop having signs outside their premises. 4) And the need to buy new christmas decorations because the old ones don't fit the new lamp-posts or the new, smaller trees. Did nobody check? 5) Victoria Avenue. Wheatley Lane. Where are the filter lanes? Where have they taken them? Is it all a plot to make the place grind to a halt? One car turning right can now make the traffic back up to Addingham. 6) The Bund. So you don't like the romany? Well, that's good and racist of you. But dealing with the 'problem' by planting a huge mud-bank where they camp is nowt short of ludicrous. We now have a perfect place to re-enact the first day of The Somme. And, frankly, it looks terrible. The Parish council keep claiming their opponents are 'acting politically'. Well, there's an easy way round that. Given the in-built Conservative majority in the town, whoever is picked to represent the party will inevitably be elected. Which means the choice of parish councillors is actually made by a handful of members of the local Tory Party, rather than the electros of the parish. So, let's bring some democracy back to the town. At the next election, everyone stands as an independent, or in their own name. Sure, we'll still get Hawksworth. We'll probably still get Ilkley's own absent landlord, funky Gibbons. But some of the lesser lights will go. And surely that can only improve the average IQ rating?

Mindless little insects

Well, what else can you call our local politicians? So proud of an award for the new Grove, they're happy to lie to the gusset and to the rest of us. Yes, the revamp of The Grove has won an award from the Public Sector and Local Government magazine. Wow! Almost as important as winning the White Rose tourism awards... Or not. But, in celebrating we have two clear lies. First the notion that the public were consulted over the changes. Well, actually, what the gusset says is 'local people were consulted'. That would be, presumably be the husbands and wives of the councillors involved. Who asked the rest of us about the re-paving that turns the street into an ice-rink the minute it rains ("quick, get me accidents direct..."), the wonderful little grooves between the slabs that catch your toes and heels, the strange bloating of the pavement into the road, and, above all, those bloody lamp-posts. For it's with the lamp-posts that we witness no pasaran's usual duplicity. The new development has been done, she says, "without detracting from the unique and colourful shop fronts which make this street an attraction for visitors and local people alike..." Hmm, so no lamp-posts in front of the Imperial Cafe (as was) then? None in front of the sweet shop? Complete bollocks of course. There's been no consultation, nobody wanted the bally things, and now we have them, it's costing us more money to make everything else fit. But that's another post.

Baron Haussmann visits town

So we have our shiny new pavement on The Grove, our new lampposts lighting up the streets at all times of day or night, the smaller trees, and of course, no bins (thanks to Ilkley-more for spotting that one). But no one has worked out what it's all about... Except me. When we have the new security force, the passport control, Machine Gun and his cronies are going to need to be able to maintain order. And what better way than following the lessons of Haussmann in Paris--wide boulevards, nowhere to hide, expansive sweeps so the military can use their weapons against the populace. That's why there's no bins, smaller trees, there's nowhere to hide from the cameras, from the hit squads. And the blood will be easier to wash off those new stones than our ancient Yorkshire stone (taking them up they made sure there was no beach there). Ilkley Parish Council are coming for you!

Scum Pt. 23

So, the Parish Council have something like 100K in the bank. They don't know what to spend it on, and are rattling around desperately trying to find some reason for raising all this money from the impoverished tax payers of this parish (latest is to spend on more benches for us to sit on--soon we'll have one bench per citizen, and there'll be no room for us to put memorial ones up which will be a shame). Now, there's three lads (you know the ones, weasel faced rat-boys in baseball caps with the peaks turned back) causing most of the trouble in town who the Police seem to be leaving completely alone (no ASBOs here thank you very much). And it's only just ocurred what's going on. THe lads are obviously actors brought in from Guiseley Theatre to play the part of 'trouble-makers', their clothes are too clean for a start. They've been employed by Machine Gun, our Otley-based Head of Security, to ruffle the feathers of local shopkeepers. Then the demands start for more police protection, only the police can't provide, but, oh look, here's some spare cash, and couldn't we use that to hire some private security, and, oh, who's going to be in charge? Well, that will be machine gun again. And so they get their own enforcement team to keep us in line. Ilkley is the first experiment in the new Police State. It's pure Walsingham agents provocateurs. Having written this, I've realised I've probably done this schtick afore. Don't mean it's not true though!

Save our Streets

News comes through that English Heritage will be launching a new campaign called Save our Streets in the next few weeks. It's aimed at controlling the "welter of signs, posts, poles, bollards and barriers...blighting towns and villages." This gives me a real chance for a 'hear hear' (said in pompus voice with much shaking of jowls). Even in the years I've been living in Ilkley, the proliferation of bits of metal placed at ever tinier distances apart along the streets of town has been very noticeable. Not just the new lampposts, but the ludicrous doubling up of signs on the Hangingstones, with one telling you a section has ended, another that a new section has started. This is all under Cllr. Hawkesworth's authority of course; the lady who likes lecturing us about maintaing the Victorian splendour of our town. Here's a game for you. From the station to the Cow n'Calf, count the number of pieces of street furniture in place. You'll be unpleasantly surprised at the result. And if anyone wants to take action...I'm sure some of the cleverer chemistry puipls at IGS could get their hands on the Anarchist's Cookbook.