Monday, 30 November 2009

Where sheep may safely graze?

But not for long if our local council has anything to do with it, it seems. This is one of the sites earmarked for 40 of the 116 new houses that appear to be planned for Great Somerford as part of Wiltshire's ambitious 2026 development strategy for delivering the 44,400 new homes John Prescott in his wisdom has decided we need. That's quite a lot of houses squished together onto a site this size.

Where all these people are going to work, park their cars, do their shopping and spend their leisure time, John doesn't appear to have mentioned. 116 houses will mean at least 230 more cars - the roads are only wide enough for a single line of cars and I can't see any mention of any extra bus services or plans to reopen the railway line that was sold off years ago. Villages don't need more commuters, they need people who are going to live there and make a contribution to the community. I've been sniffing around, as dogs do, but oddly enough, no one seems to know anything about the village's development plans.


Now, I'm all for a certain amount of carefully planned expansion to keep the community vibrant, keep the school and shop going, bring people into the local pub. But 116 extra houses? Better get stacking those shelves, Debbie.

Find out more on Wiltshire Council's website or go straight to the map (you have to scroll down a bit and zoom in on Great Somerford) to see where else the affordable homes the council seems to think we're so keen to have might be popping up.

Sunday, 15 November 2009

Calm after the storm

It's a beautiful Autumn morning in Great Somerford, and what's left of the coppery golden leaves hang from the trees like cascades of brightly polished pennies. A sharp contrast to the last few days of high winds and lashing rain. The river is right up to the banks – in places it's lapping right over – and just yesterday, I heard a dog had to be rescued by his owner after finding himself in a rapid current, unable to make his own way back to the shore.

Radio Wiltshire somehow picked up on Adam's Bank Aid escapde and asked him to come over to the studio for a drive-time interview. Sadly, Adam's car had other ideas and was last seen with a plume of smoke coming out of the engine somewhere along the hard shoulder of the M4. At least I'm assuming it was the engine and not Adam's ears. Understandably, he was not best pleased. Mike somehow managed to get to the studio, though, and was great (although I can't say the same for the snatch of music they played) - I have an MP3 of the interview if anyone missed it and would like a listen.

Those people who managed to brave the weather to Katie Mayhew's fundraising coffee morning for the Sondeza Youth Camp were not disappointed. Not only were there a fabulous selection of cakes to be drooled over (I wish I hadn't had so much breakfast) but it was also an opportunity to see some of Katie's breathtaking photographs featuring images from Botswana, Northumberland, Lacock and her own back garden. Believe me, watch this space. That girl has serious talent.

There was also a Jazz and Poetry evening at Startley Village Hall last night featuring my dear friend T and several other poets from the Somerford Scribes. Unfortunately, I was unable to go – I was sorry to have missed it; it promised to be a great evening.

* * *

I know I've expressed some views that not everyone agrees with, but honestly they were sincerely held, not personal in any way, shape or form and I really had the best of intentions at heart. They say you can't make an omelette without breaking eggs... Trouble is, I'm not altogether sure I actually like omelettes all that much...

Although it's been nice today, I understand the storms are coming back next week. We're not out of the woods yet...

Friday, 6 November 2009

Bank Aid. In which I appear to be chanelling Adam. Scary...

Well we're nothing if not topical in Frog Lane. So with the breaking news that RBS has just reported record losses at a cost of an average of £30 to each taxpayer last month, local philanthropist Adam Lloyd (aka The Twisted Omentum) decided he had to do something. So he invited a few celebrity friends round to his Frog Lane studio one evening with the promise of a free drink... (And we all know there's no such thing as a free drink...)

Could this be the next Christmas No 1? Possibly in Great Somerford. But only if The Fruitbats don't realease something first...

Ain't no stopping us now - Adam's already talking about scratch super-band(Keb)Abba recording a Wiltshire version of Portaloo. (Well, Sweden, Swindon - it's only a difference of a couple of letters...)