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News » Pigeon Droppings

Pigeon Droppings - Control bureaucracy and save a fortune

Contributed by editor on Apr 07, 2008 - 12:00 AM


The Pigeon watches and wonders

Isn’t it warming to know that the Parish Council is there?

The web pages of the Hawkinge Partnership give a detailed answer to
all those who ask:

What do they do? and what are they for?

And the answer ...

The services available are given freely by its members' time and
include all the normal things, planning, highways, traffic,
community safety, housing, street lighting, allotments, cemeteries,
playing fields, community centres (plural), litter, War Memorials
and the list goes on.

The councillors are ‘Always pleased to hear from you on the variety
of matters including the above’, it is stated.

It continues, the Parish Council (PC) is here to improve your
quality of life and to enhance your local environment.

Well, would you believe it? Doesn’t the district council and
county council do most of that?

The PC is a talking shop. It is one of many groups who are consulted
on matters affecting the area. The decisions are made higher up the
chain by qualified officers and district and county councillors, or
central government, as policy.

That’s called democracy.

We all agree with, or disagree with each other’s views in a long
chain of consultations before those at the top make their decision
which will probably be as it was in the first place.

One question is though:

How do the PC know the views of the majority before making their
suggestions within consultation on, for example, housing?

Someone will no doubt dream up an answer under the “How do they do
that?’ heading.

The PC “ is there to improve your quality of life’. That’s nice to

Do they really believe that?

The quality of life’ factor for most people is managing to survive
at a civilised level whilst bearing higher living costs and lower
incomes with many paying one third of their earnings on a mortgage.

The total attendance at the monthly PC meetings are normally in
single figures. Few then are concerned with the ‘good’ being done
for, or to them, it seems.

The real option of doing good would be to get rid of the many layers
of those wanting to do us ‘good’.

It maybe that the total cost of all these layers of talkers, if
pruned a little, may result in savings that would be of huge

It's those being done ‘good’ for who are paying for it,  as we
are, for the millions the Hawkinge Partnership is costing.

It all comes from tax in one form or another and it's probable that
most would prefer not to have their money taken from them to pay for
their betterment, rather be left alone to provide for their own
choice of how their money is spent in their own pursuit of

The figures are there to see. The combined cost of the many layers
of bureaucracy if reduced would lead to much more money in your
pocket and if pigs could fly they would make more mess than from a
single Pigeon.

The Pigeon



Pigeon Droppings - All revealed and curiosity satisfied

Contributed by editor on Mar 25, 2008 - 10:46 PM


The Pigeon watches and wonders

The information era goes awry and
Two of our finest wonder why.
The Parish Council tries to hide
Some recent data it keeps aside.
Too much for intrepid locals
Wrongly seen as sometime yokels.

News reaches the Pigeon of a minor confrontation between the parish council and two members of the public.

It seems that the two people concerned, one being a council member  no less, have been trying for months to find out certain detail about the council’s business relating to an aspect of finance.

Numerous requests were  allegedly ducked until a certain weapon called 'The Freedom of Information Act' was waived under the council’s nose.

An appointment was immediately made for the said two residents to attend at the partnership offices to be shown the sought 'secrets'.

The intrepid duo were met by two councillors and the clerk with files available to see and make note of. All revealed and curiosity satisfied.

Logic and democracy prevails at last.

But then, the civilised occasion was completely spoiled by the clerk allegedly saying: "I now have the pleasure of escorting you from the premises."


The Pigeon remains on watch.

The Pigeon



Pigeon Droppings - Dwindling audiences at monthly display of rancour in the Palace of Varieties

Contributed by editor on Mar 22, 2008 - 01:47 PM


Flying low in the snow, I hear a groan and moan
It's postman time and all is fine until we see what’s come
Another demand for hard earned cash
To pay in lumps on time
Ignore, they say - if you dare
And face a great big fine.


Known in criminal activity as: demanding money with menaces.

The Pigeon pontificates and wonders where does all that money go.

There are the services provided by the County and District Councils to be paid for, mostly necessary but at costs probably double what is possible with proper professional management and competitive pricing.

There is the Police service from the pot. What Police? Hard to find one but they must be there somewhere and crime is reducing, isn’t it ?

Then there are the more local services. From local tax there’s the Parish Council and from some other tax source the Hawkinge Partnership. What are these two bodies for. They cost a lot but for what purpose. First thoughts are: ‘Of course we need them its part of the democratic purpose’ but what do they do with our money or what do they do at all. Do we really need them in this modern age where most people follow their own choice of interest and activity?

Perhaps there should be a prize for the best guess as to what the Parish Council has actually achieved over recent years.

There is the monthly display of rancour in the Palace of Varieties with diminishing audiences. There is the football field but that’s there because the District Council said it had to be. There must be something else but try and find it to match the money it costs us all. Oh yes! There is the soon to be sale of the Leisuredrome. That cost a lot to achieve against the wishes of many.

Then there is the highly funded, well staffed Hawkinge Partnership. Do they do anything of actual long time benefit?

The Fun Day grabs the headlines. What happens if it rains? Self gratification also prevails at great cost. Who cares? As Lazarus pointed out here recently only about 1.3% bothered to vote for new members for this year. Should be a message there.

Both manned by very well intentioned people, no doubt, but shouldn’t people be able to choose whether they want or need what is done on their behalf by  local ‘do-gooders’. To do good is their reason for being there but nobody knows what ‘good’ is needed for the benefit those paying through the nose for it.

The Pigeon sees and wonders

The Pigeon



Pigeon Droppings - We all pay for this bungling

Contributed by editor on Mar 13, 2008 - 09:15 PM


We all pay for this bungling

Flying high over the sports field of the once Hamlet of Hawkinge, there is no greater joy than seeing lots of youngsters giving a football and each other a load of welly in pursuit of the national game of football. Covered in mud with smiles a mile wide its a pure pleasure to behold.

Footballers in Hawkinge owe a huge debt to those who have worked hard over recent years to set up the game and facilities, none less so than to Cyril Trice.

He has battled to persuade the FA to come up with funds to help provide changing rooms and showers for players and game officials.

The tack used by the FA is to provide hurdles that applicants have to leap to show dedication to their purpose. Cyril, and others, have spent hundreds of hours doing just that, preparing documents, business plans and attending meetings including with the Council, before finally arriving at the joy for all concerned of hearing a large slice of the necessary funds should be coming our way. Hundreds of thousands of pieces of paper with the Queen’s head pictured on.

Cy’s project started when he was a Parish Councillor a few years back with, at the time, the support of the then Council. In his Seventies and a Marathon runner he set off determined to put Hawkinge on the Soccer map.

The FA (Football Association) have a pot of money to hand out to best facilities as they judge them. Many applications are made but few achieve what Hawkinge has. Their motive is the development of the game at grass roots by coaching at an early age as English born players at high level are becoming rare. Correct facilities are a requirement of that.

The joy as above seems to have come to an abrupt halt it appears from reading the Gazette. At the eleventh hour and fifty nine seconds of the project the Parish Council, it is said, withdrew their support for the scheme.

‘Who cares’ ? it could be said. We all should. It is probable the FA would HAVE to deal with an official body in order to proceed. They will need to account for such a huge amount of money being given. They have now been written to, it appears, saying we are out of it.

‘We don’t want to know’

Surely not I hear you say. So where is the logic? The Council must know what they are doing but some say they don’t seem to. Will they now squirm from the criticism thrown at them . Will they now publish a reason that led to such a strange course of action. Will they tell the youngsters and adults who celebrated the news that they shouldn’t have.

One of the hurdles that had to be jumped over was a schedule of grounds works which makes sense. A contractor as approved was appointed to do the necessary work. But, allegedly, the council changed the contractor at the eleventh hour.

Result: One contractor spiked and sanded the ground and the new one came in and rolled it negating the work of the first one. We all pay for this bungling.

The council called a special meeting recently (with minimal notice) to put their plans for football into place at which outsiders weren’t allowed to speak.

Perhaps they now will call another one and let the public do the talking and ask some pertinent questions.

Time will tell.

The Pigeon

Pigeon Droppings - 8 November 2007

Contributed by editor on Nov 08, 2007 - 08:10 PM

Purge on  Pigeons by parish council

The Pigeon

East and West road signs suggest scenes from West Side Story

Contributed by editor on Jul 16, 2007 - 02:24 PM

Flying over Hawkinge I can’t resist a look and a listen to what’s being spoken about these days.

What about that ruck between the Parish Councillors not all being invited to the opening of a new road. Wow! But why would anybody want to go anyway?

Surely the two most important people; the Chair and his Vice were sufficient and they are newcomers seeking awareness of what goes on hereabouts; or was there free grub and wine on offer afterwards that was missed. The ‘East’ and ‘West’road signs suggest the scenes from West Side Story. Will there now be gang warfare and a new musical about the divided village? How about the ‘Great Divide' as a title or has that already been done.

Then there’s the missing out by the Hawkinge Primary school who weren’t invited to the big event.

Was it just for the west-siders then? Probably glad they did miss it. Watching the grass grow and working at school, much more exciting. They should have a matched one thousand pound donation though - for staying away if an excuse is needed.

That was unfair giving it to one and not the other, but what about Selsted School; another thousand there or else I will keep flying over the builders cars and you know the result of that.

I see that the Spitfire Leisuredrome is to be placed for the THIRD time before the wise men of Shepway District Council to ask permission to knock it down. That will bring out the objectors trying to use the building for the many young people of the West Side until a new building is provided. Seems reasonable.

The mob at Whitehall recently were presented with a very comprehensive report which concluded again, that most of the problems caused by an element of youngsters these days; the stabbing incidents and such like for example, start because of society’s disinterest in providing facilities and places for them to meet away from the dreaded older 'than them' generation.

There are a lot of young people on that side of the village who may reasonably expect that something be done for them. I’m told that at present many of ‘em are into basketball but often have to use the hall at Selsted school.

Come on Parish Council play the game or I will target your cars as well for a visit in the most friendly of ways of course.

Thinking about the massive profits being made by the developers it doesn’t seem unreasonable to expect that they could lend a bit of support to the cause of supporting the young people who live in the houses they built. Such help would cost very little in size of their scheme of things.


That Blastard Pigeon took a look

Pigeon Droppings - 25 May 2007

Contributed by editor on May 25, 2007 - 05:52 PM

Hawkinge Palace of Varieties

Strutting joyfully and gay between and around the legs of our esteemed Parish Councillors I nonchalantly pretend to be looking for treats as dropped items of their succulent and exotic menu whilst listening to gossip about our intended Parish future.

A moment of this better for my digestion than months of that stuff as used to be given by tourists in that square place with a statue in London amongst the droppings from whence I came.

So what is being said then, you ask?

A new Council having to take on all that has been approved by the last one. Two new members with ambition galore. One of each of the sexes. Will that make a difference, its asked.

The female, a lady already affectionately known as ‘Jimmy’ (Mrs James) , of immense talent and many concerns about the past and the future. Not giving much away but must be laughing at being asked to be Vice Chairman. Its said she will see through the purpose of that one. She is presently recovering from jet lag but no doubt in training for the constructive long battle ahead.

The male, is also known to be a little concerned with the past; to say the least. A wise elderly Gentleman known for views of logic and hating waste. now asking questions with a long list having been given already to the new Clerk. Not much passes him it would seem.

Amongst the discussions generally; at the top of the list is the position of the new Clerk who spends some of her working hours in the Partnership Office and the rest working from home. Bit unusual that, whilst some wonder who approved it. The post should perhaps, be at home on a part time basis or at the office full time other than when attending meetings and such like, as with all other such post holders in such employment.

Also asked: why does Hawkinge suddenly need a full time Clerk. Nothing has changed since the last one who was part time. Perhaps increase the hours a bit. How much is all this needlessly costing the residents, it may well be wondered.

The new Clerk is considered a very able lady and already improving administration systems to ensure compliance with correct procedure as becoming such a body with potential to spend our money unwisely if not kept in line and in compliance with accepted policy and procedure. It is hoped the new members will also be ensuring that.

One other item causing an exhalation of hot air being concern with the decision of the last lot to make a rather large payment to the previous Clerk when she retired. A decision perhaps correctly made but illogical when there are so many more other needs for such an amount of money which could have been used for the benefit of the residents who had the money taken from then in the first place through the rates they pay by a system jokingly known as ‘Demanding money with menaces’

There are other matters being discussed of fascinating interest but to reveal them all might spoil the entertainment for those who attend in the audience. You will have to wait and see.

One hint though: the sale of the Leisuredrome is again on the Agenda probably meaning a lot of objections by being the only indoor place for the youth to play sport which it is hoped will be retained. Its said that big audiences may be expected for what could become the Hawkinge Palace of Varieties in the future with improved attendance. Seats may have to be by invitation only. Efforts are said to be in hand to improve the acoustics. A microphone system has been suggested which would, at least, improve audibility when all of them are talking at once as only the one, with the microphone, will be heard. (Guess who that will be).

Another suggestion having been given is that the Councillors tables be more logically arranged so that they can be heard from the public area without deafening each other.

In the mean time two of our elected Members are awaiting ‘Trial’ for alleged offences leading to report to the dreaded Standards Board. Bit unfair on them, having to wait so long for the investigation. Wonder why that is?

Promising times ahead for the those who give of their time so generously and for those who watch and wonder.

The Pigeon

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