Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Someone’s Making Out Like A Bandit…

…and it’s not the poor old Southend Council ratepayer:
Workman have begun replanting trees at Victoria Gateway (Ed: oh, yeah, this place again…) in a bid to attract more people to the public space.
Trees, green areas and new seating will be added to the large open space outside Southend Victoria Station to encourage more people to gather and make access to the High Street clearer.
Surely those are two different, conflicting, desires? If more people gather, then how is access going to be clearer?

And why would you want people to gather there anyway, since it’s just a throughway from the station to the main street?
Mature trees were removed from the old Victoria Circus roundabout in a multi-million revamp of the key junction in 2011.
Yes, indeed, and when you’ve spent all that money laying all that concrete and paving, why not spend a bit more digging it all up again? After all, it’s from the Magic Money Tree, right?
Martin Terry, Southend councillor responsible for transport, said: “I am very pleased that this work is going to take place, which will make a big improvement to what is an important entrance into the town.
“We know that there has been much debate about this area since it was created, so the council have reviewed what is there and listened to local people.
“The plans that have been created follow numerous comments, feedback and widespread public involvement.”
Really? Not yet another huge payout to a consultancy company then? Well, that makes a nice cha…

Oh.
A ninth-month review of Victoria Gateway by John Dales, from consultancy Urban Movement, concluded trees, seating and lighting could be added to the open space to give it “sense of place”.
It also called for a “bolder public art installation” than statue “the Return”, which has failed to attract people to the area.
How odd. You’d think people would flock from miles around to see this wonderful installation, wouldn’t you?
Mr Dales suggested the skateboarders could be encouraged, rather than seen as a menace, or other activities, such as table tennis, be added to the area.
Great! Just what people arriving at Southend Victoria need, to fight their way past skateboarders and table tennis players to reach the dilapidated, shrinking high street to be hassled for spare change by the tramps, all the while dodging the mentally ill and their hapless carers.

7 comments:

Woman on a Raft said...

The mentally ill are to be treated to a trip to the roundabout outside the station to watch the buses?

Anyho, here's the original brief design, which does what it can with three lanes of traffic in either direction and a place for buses to turn round.

http://www.cbastudios.com/projects/49-victoria-s-gateway-plaza-southend-on-sea-/

In my experience, if you put up trees, all you get are pigeons but I suppose in Sarfend you'll get seagulls swooping on bags of chips.

wiggia said...

Perhaps they could draw inspiration from this, a wonderful example of the art of designer roundabouts, known locally as the drunken waste bin.

http://s0.geograph.org.uk/photos/31/09/310921_52499126.jpg

microdave said...

I've got a picture coming up in Friday Funnies which goes nicely with this story.

Fahrenheit211 said...

The phrase 'bold public art' can sometimes be translated into big contract and big bunce for an artist friend of the consultancy or someone on the council. I hve heard that here were similar concerns and rumours about nepotism and choice of designs for the A13 Artscape Project in Barking and Dagenham.

Furor Teutonicus said...

XX Woman on a Raft said...

The mentally ill are to be treated to a trip to the roundabout outside the station to watch the buses? XX

You know the old trick of care homes having a fake bus stop where they send the dementia patients to "wait for the bus?"

SOME still do that. It keeps them "out of your hair" for a whole day, if you are lucky.

GOOD care homes have banned the practice, but it is NOT unknown.

Rightwinggit said...

All councils are guilty until proven innocent.

JuliaM said...

"In my experience, if you put up trees, all you get are pigeons but I suppose in Sarfend you'll get seagulls swooping on bags of chips. "

Oh, we actually get as many pigeons as anywhere else!

The seagulls are bigger & prettier.

"Perhaps they could draw inspiration from this..."

*boggle*

"The phrase 'bold public art' can sometimes be translated into big contract..."

Always, I think!