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Poll
Question: Which enhancements would you choose? Select up to three....  (Voting closes: December 28, 2007, 06:06:43 pm)
Tardis
Crazy Golf
Painted Bollards
Children's Poem Plaques
None of the above
Other idea (please explain)

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Author Topic: Idea for a town centre enhancement  (Read 1120 times)
Emma PT
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Re: Idea for a town centre enhancement
« Reply #15 on: October 02, 2007, 11:38:31 am »

Hi everyone!

I've joined the bulletin board just to say how much we've been enjoying the ideas appearing in this debate. Some lovely ideas here.

Thanks to Athelstan for starting this discussion and thanks too, to the Whitchurchweb team for enabling it.

Mr. Burgess says that a 'small team' (invitation only!?) is going to walk about our town developing their own ideas. OK, but how can we be sure that ALL ideas are fairly presented to residents and not filtered out by those who prefer their own schemes? I do hope the ideas appearing on Whitchurchweb are not going to be ignored.
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Doctorb
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Re: Idea for a town centre enhancement
« Reply #16 on: October 03, 2007, 07:16:28 pm »

I have a few reservations about the painted bollards and the Tardis.....

Reading had light blue painted lamposts that looked cheap and nasty, they faded as well. I think they will make the town look a little tacky....it would probably suit a more modern town. Personally I don't think you can go wrong with nice black bollards, if you want to spruce them up a bit you could paint a thin gold ring around them. Most of the bollards in Whitchurch are leaning and are not straight, that needs sorting out first.

As for the Tardis, putting a cheapo balsa wood copy anywhere would be tacky again. It would have to be inspired, well made and functional. Just putting it in a car park and expecting people to take an interest and turn up saying " look...a Tardis" is really a short term plan, especially when it rests on the interest on a TV programme that could easily become old hat. Now if a previous doctor lived nearby and was willing to attend now and again it would be a different story, although even that may not be something that would make it stand the test of time when looking back.

Another idea (apart from the mini/crazy golf) would be for nice traditional street furniture like Victorian style street lamps dotted around the roundabout/square. Make the area look authentic enough and interesting then you could get interest from the TV/Film industry for location work. Theale high street looks similar and has been used a few times for that reason.....
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Emma PT
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Re: Idea for a town centre enhancement
« Reply #17 on: October 04, 2007, 10:48:06 am »

I have a few reservations about the painted bollards and the Tardis.....

Reading had light blue painted lamposts that looked cheap and nasty, they faded as well. I think they will make the town look a little tacky....it would probably suit a more modern town. Personally I don't think you can go wrong with nice black bollards, if you want to spruce them up a bit you could paint a thin gold ring around them. Most of the bollards in Whitchurch are leaning and are not straight, that needs sorting out first.

As for the Tardis, putting a cheapo balsa wood copy anywhere would be tacky again. It would have to be inspired, well made and functional. Just putting it in a car park and expecting people to take an interest and turn up saying " look...a Tardis" is really a short term plan, especially when it rests on the interest on a TV programme that could easily become old hat. Now if a previous doctor lived nearby and was willing to attend now and again it would be a different story, although even that may not be something that would make it stand the test of time when looking back.

Another idea (apart from the mini/crazy golf) would be for nice traditional street furniture like Victorian style street lamps dotted around the roundabout/square. Make the area look authentic enough and interesting then you could get interest from the TV/Film industry for location work. Theale high street looks similar and has been used a few times for that reason.....

Actually, I think the Tardis idea would really work and I don't think anyone is suggesting a 'cheap balsa copy'. An original one would be an attractive feature and, as Dr. Who has been around for over 40 years I doubt its likely to become 'old hat' any time soon.  It appeals across the age groups and is certainly unusual.

Em
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Athelstan
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Re: Idea for a town centre enhancement
« Reply #18 on: October 09, 2007, 04:30:57 pm »


Mr. Burgess says that a 'small team' (invitation only!?) is going to walk about our town developing their own ideas. OK, but how can we be sure that ALL ideas are fairly presented to residents and not filtered out by those who prefer their own schemes? I do hope the ideas appearing on Whitchurchweb are not going to be ignored.

Quote

I guess this will be one of the functions of the Town Centre Improvements Manager?
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thewhitorg
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Re: Idea for a town centre enhancement
« Reply #19 on: October 10, 2007, 10:03:49 pm »

As I said, I have invited the TCIM to read the site - I will do so again tomorrow.

In addition there's a Steering Group for the programme (that's all the projects funded by the Councils and those funded by matching SEEDA funds). One of the key tasks of the SG is to ensure that proper consultation takes place on all aspects of the programme (which may include Graham's walk about). That doesn't mean that we start with a clean piece of paper as lots of work has been done since 2002 aqnd the funds were allocated against specific projects nor does it mean that the decisions will be made on the basis of he who shouts loudest gets what he wants (Sorry Emma he includes she). The TCIM works for the SG and will the one who organises the consultation but she isn't the decider, that is the SG.

See http://thewhitchurchweb.org/tci.htm this includes links to the page which gives the outlines of the projects that are funded by the SEEDA money and http://www.thewhitchurchweb.org/tcip01.htm gives information about the planning for the council works. Since ther July meeting HCC officers ahve prepared outline costings which show that all the plaaned works can be acheived within the funds available. At the Septemeber meeting the SG asked to HCC officers to come back in November with more detailed plans and viable and affordable options for the 17 items on the list of things to be done.

Incidentally, 2 of the proposals for the "innovative community centred public art initiative" come from contributors to this board - there's still space for more!!!

Contrary to anything you may have read in election pamphlets, the projects are still on schedule and real work on the ground is expected to start from the end March.
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kot
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Re: Idea for a town centre enhancement
« Reply #20 on: October 11, 2007, 09:15:51 am »

As I said, I have invited the TCIM to read the site - I will do so again tomorrow.
Incidentally, 2 of the proposals for the "innovative community centred public art initiative" come from contributors to this board - there's still space for more!!!

This is excellent to hear.
Is there a contact name and address where we can send more detailed submissions?

kot
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Athelstan
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Re: Idea for a town centre enhancement
« Reply #21 on: October 12, 2007, 09:20:07 am »

Greetings from one of the ‘Lynch Hill Mob’ (see this Thursday’s Gazette letters).

This is good news indeed Phil, the time frame seems logical and well thought out. Doubtless an election pamphlet will pop through my door tomorrow claiming credit for that as well! However, as that is about the only post coming through my door at the moment, I shall read it avidly!

Athelstan
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Emma PT
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Re: Idea for a town centre enhancement
« Reply #22 on: October 12, 2007, 11:56:45 am »

Hi All,

Thanks for the update and the clear outline.

I'm so pleased that ideas are being accepted from this forum as I got the impression from Mr. Burgess this was no longer the case. 

I remember completing the survey in April and wondered if any further ideas would be accepted - it seems they are. Looks like the next milestone is November, I'm looking forward to seeing the results!

Oh, and Athelstan, shame on you! We in the valley are still coughing from the results of you hill people  Grin

Em
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Athelstan
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Re: Idea for a town centre enhancement
« Reply #23 on: October 12, 2007, 03:31:57 pm »

Ha! I plead 'Not Guilty' Emma - and I have the compost bins to prove it!   Cheesy
« Last Edit: October 12, 2007, 03:33:55 pm by Athelstan » Logged
thewhitorg
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Re: Idea for a town centre enhancement
« Reply #24 on: October 12, 2007, 09:05:54 pm »

I'm glad my words were of use. The time for submissions of ideas for each of the projects is to be determined as part of a detailed plan for each project.

These will be published on theWhitchurchWeb and in Update (it's one of the reasons Update was created).

"Pushing" ideas at this stage is not necessary and could be seen as coming from "someone who is trying to shout loudest".

I'll make sure that all of Whitchurch is informed of when and what the opportunities for involvement are. One key document that the SG have agreed the TCIM is to procuce is a Communications Plan which will document for all what the "rules" are
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Graham Burgess
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Re: Idea for a town centre enhancement
« Reply #25 on: October 13, 2007, 08:56:38 am »

I think that whilst we might get great pleasure from blogging away the focus should be to create a new town centre that includes things that are substantial and to a degree pretty perisistent.Plaques from a few kids will by definition exclude most kids.If our aim is to encourage more and more creativity then the better we are at it, the more plaques will go to waste.I still have very negative feelings about the many beautiful lizard plaques that were dumped in the scholl skip at the end of one year.When we had the competition for the millennium gates Geoff Cowley won it with a great design but there is abook with the many competing designs and many of those ar every high quality.

Playgrounds are one means of getting energy out, bringing excercise and encouraging fellowship/ maybe we should start to take on board the German approach where they are designed for all age groups.The Chill Group is doing great things for the adolescents and I suspect most of the benefit comes from just getting them together under civilised conditions.No need for icons.

The best way to positively condition all age groups is to surround them with quality. A run down and  tacky environment can only lead to worsening of attitudes and standards.I have spent a lifetime in the landscape business working in al sorts of conditions and one thing in Whitchurch has mazedme. Take a location where there are more kids than anywhere else, those creatures who tend to disturb things sometime. I am talking of the internal garden at testbourne. When with Hilary Jackson and Linda Cowley we concieved and had built The Jubilee Garden we explored the concept of rocks.With some trepidation we decided to include in the section on metamorphic rocks, thsoe changed by heat and pressure, marble boulders from Carrara.We put them in loose thinking yes maybe its a nice idea to bring an Italian beach scene to Whitchurch but would they hurl them about ? They have respected them. This is a sign of the quality of our youngsters and our police patrollers will echo this.

One off events even if they are covered by the media may serve to satisfy some aspirations and have no long term valued effect. Others may in the form of a constant drip, drip turn things round.

We are a very mixed community so that which wil be really approved by most need not be adventurous at all. Most will not say what they really want and many if they see something they do not like will merely retreat into almost secret critiicism amongst kindred spirits.


Town enhancement is not to do with OBJECT it is to do with OVERALL CONTEXT.

GB Saturday 13th oct 07
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Graham Burgess
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Re: Idea for a town centre enhancement
« Reply #26 on: October 13, 2007, 05:36:55 pm »

Dear Athelstan,http://[flash=200,200][/flash]
I do not know who you are and wonder if you are my long lost grandson. My real name is not Graham but Alfred.If you make contact by telephone I can tell you how I am trying to empower as many people as poss to have their say about the re-furbishments in the town.
I am not involved centrally, Working4 Whitchurch is doing that I am working as a private client (taxpayer) and as a social animal who cares about Whitchurch. The way I am working is drawn from the way I have worked my whole life with some special emphasis on landscape and how it affects human beings.
When I abandoned The John Lewis Partnership and a directorship there to come to Whitchurch I had a shop.Those of us in the town centre were under threat from forces wanting to
eliminate all the car park spaces
 to make it much easier for people to pass through. I resurrected the old board of trade The Whitchurch Traders Association. We had 47 members and we met every month in the White Hart. One of our team did a traffic survey (unpaid) and we managed to stop the catastrophe.We had a Town Plan with walks on it and everyone advertised in it. I had a copy up at The Landscape Day with the many crosses on it of the businesses no longer with us.At that same day not just the history of what we had in the lost past but pictures of what we have now.
Lots of opportunity for people to comment and make links for future comment.
I then moved to Silk Mill House and no longer needed my shop.The Board of Trade submerged again and I became Chairman of the Friends of the Whitchurch Silk Mill, then a Director.Some will remember the massive displays of lights we had round the mill at Christmas and The History Day and The International Parties.My landscape skills were employed retaining the bank where people enter from the car park and where mums take their kids to feed the
thousands of ducks.

My next move was to The Weir and I joined the Trustees of The Millennium Green.That has always been a super positive team. An early star was Peter Ball our first Chairman. A key thing he strove for was NO RULES, and that is what we have . The rules are what people expect for themselves.The challenge for the meadow management is to get a mix acceptable to those who want un bridled Nature and those who want Park.My landscape skills have been employed in the bus bay at Testbourne which apart from one whitebeam which aspires to be the leaning tower of Pisa (another Italian connection) it is an example of how tree planting can work in youngster challenging environment.Nearby three fishes in school uniform point the way to Theatre; Sports Hall and the possible new location for the school main entrance.The Jubilee Garden is one of the finest landscapes in Europe the creation of which included local
sponsorships and wide ranging support
. It is high quality aesthetically and very practical.If anyone has the means of further improving it please get in touch.
I was involved with Steve Hoffman in his valuable Town Design Statement.I keep saying everyone should read that and learn how the information was gathered.It is on Phil Cooper's website and there is a copy in the library.
 
In case you are wondering why
certain bits glow in this text.
[/b] I am tantalised as an old-fashioned bloke in all the possibilities and this is my first exploration. I would like to be taught a bit more about it.
 
Athelsatn please come out of the
SHADOWS
[b]
and reveal your real name.
 
Alfred
 
 
 
 
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Emma PT
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Re: Idea for a town centre enhancement
« Reply #27 on: October 16, 2007, 12:50:14 pm »

Good to hear Athelstan!

Has the TCIM seen the site yet? What did she think of it?

EM
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Athelstan
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Re: Idea for a town centre enhancement
« Reply #28 on: October 16, 2007, 08:35:14 pm »

Graham/Alfred

I doubt I am a long lost grandson. What I know of my ancestors is that one was a Highwayman who was hung for his crimes and had a song written about him. Another served in the New Jersey Supreme Court although ironically no song has emerged.

Perhaps it’s easier to sing about bad things than good which nicely reflects your comment that people may not say what they really want as negatives can be easiier expressed than positives.

I agree with what Emma and others have said that this website has been a welcome forum for people to suggest their ideas for the town. Phil has done a good job in facilitating this discussion and dealing with ideas in a supportive, objective manner.

The original posting in this particular thread was not intended as a debate about visions or mission statements, that is already complete. We have an SG and a TCIM and, as we have seen, they will deliver a consultation in due time. 

In the meanwhile, this site is welcoming ideas. I hope more will be forthcoming.

I appreciate your comments concerning the poetry plaques and I agree it will exclude some kids. Just as not every child enjoys poetry not every child enjoys sport or ‘the great outdoors’. Is that an argument to close playing fields or ban sporting competition? This is where fear of the word ‘exclusion’ can lead us.

Instead, let’s see this idea as an incremental improvement. It’s not intended to replace other events/activities. If these plaques work as an innovative, fun way of encouraging artistic endeavour and if it promotes the language of Shakespeare for a few youngsters, then it surely is worth consideration.

A voluntary competition could held in each school with the entries posted in the library. Judging would yield 2 winners per year or 20 plaques in the course of a decade - something which could be easily accommodated in our town. It’s a low cost, high value measure which I hope the families as well as the children themselves would find pride in.

In the end it’s up to the head teachers to evaluate this idea, they are the experts. If they feel it is divisive or irrelevant, then we do not pursue it. It costs nothing to ask.
     
If you were to see my garden you would know immediately that I have zero knowledge or expertise in an area you clearly excel at, landscaping.  This is clearly your focus and I congratulate your efforts. Beyond this, I would add that one area making Whitchurch look generally run down are the number of economically inactive buildings in the town centre. I am thinking now of the buildings on London Rd, and the empty shop on Newbury St.

Although I have one or two thoughts about this issue, as they are in private hands a different approach is needed and is beyond the scope of this particular thread.

As far as my real name is concerned? I wasn’t aware I was in any shadows, nor am I interested in personal grandstanding. As a social animal I enjoy the two laws of the jungle: “Stand out if you want to attract a mate, hide if you don’t want to be eaten.”  Grin

All the best,


Athelstan
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Markus
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Re: Idea for a town centre enhancement
« Reply #29 on: October 17, 2007, 11:39:10 am »

I think the golf idea is good, I also like the Tardis.
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