Monday, 18 February 2013

Democracy in action ?

Last Monday, I went with my dad to a meeting of the residents of the development that we live on.

I find it interesting that there's something of a similarity of the meetings we have at work in that, you have lots of differing people going there hoping of pursue their own agenda or viewpoint, and that everyone else will agree with them too. Sadly the reality is that people spend much more time disagreeing on the differences than they do making any real progress on the things they do agree on.

There was, as expected a lot of emotion attached to the problems with parking on site. People very upset that there is not enough room for them to park their second car. This I guess is a problem for lots of people, being that all the properties have at least two bedrooms, some of them three or four bedroom houses. As their children get older, they will want cars, and somewhere to park them. That's without even considering that most households would have two working adults, and therefore need at least two spaces anyway.

Some of the people seemed to be surprised about the amount of parking there was for their properties. Can't understand this myself. Did they not look at the plans when they brought their home ? They quite clearly showed that there wasn't going to be any street parking, and that all but a few properties have only one parking space.

Also. What would they be doing were they to live elsewhere in the city ? Unless they had a double fronted house, or one with a long driveway they would only have room for one car on their own property, and for any others be struggling to find a space in the crowded streets.

Not being attached to, or dependant on a car does give you a different view on things, it also has the effect, maybe of making you a lot less selfish. MY car. MY parking space. MY right. No ?

The other thing that got the masses into a lather was the revelation that the childrens' play area that is soon to be built as part of the last phase of construction, and that it is for the use of local children, not just the ones that live on the development.

This really seemed to put the cat amongst the pigeons, with people getting indignant that the local children get to use the facilities, such as they will be, without having to contribute anything toward the cost. Scare stories of how the play park would be wrecked within a week and that parents driving to it, would block up the roads trying to desperately get to it.

All of these rather dismal assumptions based on the ignorance of the fact that there is a perfectly good play park just 100 yards away, behind the infant school, that rarely gets used as it is.

It's amazing how worked up people get over pretty simple, insignificant things. How they will devote their time and energy to pretty pointless exploits, drowning in the illusion of control, when the real things, the big issues go on without comment action or emotion.

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