Monday, 21 April 2008

There's initiative and there's trying too hard

The lads from next door show initiative and buy their own goal.

There are three of these new signs in Lenton Recreation Ground and they do nothing to benefit the park or its users. If this is someone's idea of being helpful then they are trying too hard and are making problems where none exist.

The lads who live next door to us spend a lot of time playing football in the park and they don't wear studded boots. They go to the park to have fun with their mates and on Saturday just gone they took their own goal with them. Only one. They told me that was all they could afford this week, so there may be two goals next week. Of course, if others follow their initiative we could soon have a park full of portable goals.

There's a phrase about 'over egging the pudding' and it came to mind on Saturday when I saw the above sign just inside the Derby Road entrance for the first time. There's also one by the Church Street entrance and the bowling green. If this is someone's idea of being helpful then they are, in my opinion, trying too hard and need to be found something more constructive to do before they do some real damage to Lenton Recreation Ground.

The signs are quite high up and not that easy to read. The two walking routes marked are confusing. There is information on the noticeboards in the park telling you the length of the path around the edge of the park and that six laps equals 1.96 miles. So, these new signs tell us nothing new and all they bring to the park is clutter. It's bad enough having our streets and roads littered with signs and marked with lines. I come to the park to escape all that and I see view the three existing signs about playing in studded boots as temporary. The information about the ban on studs (and barbecues) needs to be on the big signs by the two entrances so that the smaller signs can be removed.

A few weeks ago I took some pictures of the playing area between nearby Sandpiper Way and the back of the Lenton Business Centre and have been waiting for an opportunity to blog about the space, which has a fine example of what was once described to me as 'municipal fascism' by a Birmingham City Council planner I knew in the 1970s, so come back on Thursday and learn more.

As for the new walking signs which have got me going, I wonder how much time and money has gone into getting them in place? Some officers sitting around talking about the idea, then writing a brief so they could be designed, getting prices, getting them made and put in. As far as I am concerned it's all time and money which could have been spent doing something far more useful.

A former bishop has ended Paraguay's 61 years of one-party rule by beating the reigning party's candidate to win the country's presidential election. Fernando Lugo, a mild-mannered leftist, who quit the clergy three years ago, saying he felt powerless to help Paraguay's poor, was announced as the winner of the elections after some uncertainty.

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