Posts Tagged ‘Farnborough’

Farnborough not a success story

November 25, 2014
Farnborough Cycles

Farnborough Cycles

Farnborough is a success is the oft repeated claim of the imbecile leader of the council. What is the secret of this success, is it something other towns may wish to replicate?

Last Saturday, a cycle shop pulled out of Farnborough, this was after five years and a big investment. Why, why pull out, this is not what we expect for a success story? The wrong people on the street, Farnborough attracts the wrong people, those with the means go elsewhere. And the finger of blame was pointed squarely at the local council and greedy developer KPI/St Modwen for trashing the town.

Not much of a success story there then. Let us look a bit further afield.

The cycle shop was located in Kingsmead, a run down, grubby shopping centre, when it rains the roof leaks and buckets are put out to catch the water. Recent cosmetic changes do not disguise that it is a run down ugly shopping centre. Beware of the pillars, as the edges are razor sharp.

The shopping centre resembles a movie set for a post-apocalypse movie, boarded-up shops, a handful of zombies wandering through to escape from the cold and wet outside.

no compensation paid to retailer forced to relocate

no compensation paid to retailer forced to relocate

What was the busy entrance, all the retailers have been relocated or kicked out. Or at least was the busy entrance once upon a time when busy a decade ago. They have been relocated to the dead entrance, even when long ago the shopping centre was busy, this entrance was dead, used by people running to catch the bus. Those retailers forcibly relocated have received no compensation. But then the treatment of these retailers and small businesses no different to those driven out and their livelihood destroyed when half the town centre was demolished to satisfy the greed of a developer, aided and abetted by the local council

A cinema was promised for the summer. If we wish to be pedantic, a cinema was promised over a decade ago, before half the town centre was destroyed. A cinema is now promised for March. A group of chain eateries to cluster like parasites around the foot of the cinema. Only it ain’t gong to happen, there are no chain eateries, nothing but boarded-up units. Nandos was a possibility, but as Nandos at Wastegate (similar model chain eateries cluster around a cinema) has not proved to be a success, Nandos has pulled the plug, and no one else is interested.

The independent cafes in the town appear to have no future, walk by and they are nearly always almost empty.

Triangle, a bowl of soup requested mid-afternoon. No soup. Why, have they run out? No, the kitchen closed at three o’clock. The food in Triangle is awful, the coffee undrinkable. It only remains in business due to regular bail outs. The latest by St Peter’s.

Bread shop cum cafe in Queensmead. A cup of tea. What size cup? A tea bag in a cup, hot water poured over tea bag. Maybe you get a different size tea bag depending upon the cup. A bacon sandwich requested. Don’t do sandwiches. OK, a roll. Too late. Loads of bread tossed in a sack to be thrown away.

Independent businesses are often their own worse enemy. The only way they can compete with the chains is to offer service, better service, quality, better quality, and yet they fail to offer either.

A couple of years ago attempted breakfast in Triangle. Too late. It was two minutes gone their arbitrary cut off. And why two minutes beyond, because of their slowness in serving. There is no excuse for serving awful food. Visit Cafe Mila in Godalming, Guildford Institute Friday lunchtime, Iydea in Brighton, Bristol Skipchen surplus food cafe a not-for-profit in Bristol or Transition Cafe in Fishguard, run by a trust. Quality food at reasonable prices. A quality coffee shop with hand roasted coffee beans freshly roasted freshly ground, a decent espresso machine, an experienced barister, fresh made cakes and cookies.

Why does the bread shop cum cafe throw away its bread? Why not offer half price, why not give away to last customers at the end of the day?

Chains do not close their kitchen half way through the day, or close early. You do not walk in Costa and Starbucks and get turned away, you will be served disgusting coffee, but you will not get turned away.

In the street, three sheds have appeared, selling tat and fast food. Creaming the businesses from local businesses who are there all year round.

The imbecile leader of the council has promised to build on the success of Farnborough in Aldershot.

Man drives through hairdressers

October 17, 2014

car drives through  hairdressers

car drives through hairdressers


Late morning an elderly man drove through a hairdressers in Giffard Drive in Farnborough.

Why? Absolutely no idea. Possibly he hit the a accelerator rather than the brake. Or he could have had a heart attack or a stroke or a fit.

He was in a state of shock. But, he looked in no fit state to be driving full stop.

This raises the question of fitness to drive.

Cars are given MoTs, so should drivers. Fitness to drive based on both health and the ability to drive.

Rotten Borough of Rushmoor commissions nuisance phone calls

September 16, 2014
Rotten Borough of Rushmoor masonic handshake

Rotten Borough of Rushmoor masonic handshake

One thing guaranteed to piss people off is nuisance phone calls.

The latest wheeze from the Rotten Borough of Rushmoor is to commission a marketing company to make nuisance phone calls to local residents to ask them what they think of efforts by the council to trash Aldershot and Farnborough.

We have commissioned the market research company NEMS to carry out some telephone surveys. They will be asking questions about people’s shopping habits and their views on how local town centres are used. If you have any queries, please contact the planning policy team on 01252 398733.

You could not make it up if you tried.

What your shopping habits are, is no business of the council.

From where are they getting the telephone numbers?

Is the council passing over confidential personal data? If yes, a criminal offence under data protection legislation.

Local resident Richard Young very ably sums up the view of local people:

So you’ve used public money to get people to ring us up and piss us off, nice one!

Why not set up an online survey? You’d get better feed back, more of it and you wouldn’t have to pay anyone. Seriously dudes, come on!

Is this not the role of local councillors, are they not supposed to know?

Having trashed Farnborough, having laid waste to Aldershot with Wastegate, the council is now proposing to pour £4.5 million down the drain in Aldershot, the only ‘consultation‘ being an unmanned display panel.

Local people said they did not wish to see The Tumbledown Dick destroyed for a Drive-Thru McDonald’s, did not wish to see Firgrove Green destroyed for an unwanted Premier Inn hotel, or the four local businesses at Firgrove Parade destroyed.

Now, having ignored local people, the council is to waste taxpayers money on nuisance phone calls.

Other than election time, when the pigs are fighting to get their snouts stuck firmly in the trough, when was the last time you saw a local councillor, let alone a local councillor listening to and acting on what you say?

Yet another massive fail by the Rotten Borough of Rushmoor.

Starbucks hosts … charity fun day

September 14, 2014
Starbucks hosts ... charity fun day

Starbucks hosts … charity fun day

Tax-dodging, poor working conditions, rubbish coffee, and now Starbucks hosts a charity fun day.

It was not so long ago when UK Uncut occupied Starbucks across the country, turned each Starbucks into a crèche to highlight their tax-dodging activities.

Another massive fail by the Rotten Borough of Rushmoor.

This is where the imbecile leader of the council welcomed Starbucks for making Farnborough their home.

Er no, Starbucks opened a tacky coffee shop where people with no self-respect, who are clueless as to what constitutes good coffee are not too embarrassed to congregate and be seen.

Er no, Starbucks did not make Farnborough their home. Their home, their corporate headquarters, is Seattle. Their corporate headquarters for the UK is not located in the UK. For tax dodging Starbucks corporate headquarters for the UK is located in Holland.

How much did Starbucks pay for this cheap greenwash stunt?

Were Starbucks to pay their fair share of tax, they would be no need for Rushmoor First Responders to go to Starbucks with their begging bowl, as such services would be properly funded by the public purse.

Note: A decade or more ago, Rushmoor had an Aldershot Green Day sponsored by McDonald’s!

Dinner at Zaffron

September 3, 2014
complimentary poppadoms

complimentary poppadoms

chicken korma served in this beautiful bowl

chicken korma served in this beautiful bowl

It several years since I have eaten at Zaffron. I had forgotten how good the food could be. A rarity for Farnborough, somewhere worth eating.

I was there when they opened for a drink. I thought maybe stay and eat, but it filled up with very noisy people. Very unpleasant and I decided to leave. I did leave, but then thought, they have gone through to the dining room, the bar was now quiet, I was tired and hungry, I returned and asked to eat at a table by the bar. They said yes.

I ordered chicken korma, mushroom bajhi and rice. And for drink a glass of water.

Whilst I was waiting, I was given complimentary poppadoms.

I did not have too long to wait for my dinner. It was served rice in a bowl, chicken korma in a metal bowl with a lid, and mushroom bajhi in a bowl.

All the food was served piping hot, the plate hot, and a linen napkin.

The mushroom bajhi bore no resemblance to an onion bajhi. It was simply a bowl of vegetables, which I did not like.

The chicken korma was excellent, the sauce delicate, chunks of delicious chicken.

It put to shame the disgusting curries served by J D Wetherpoon. Any one who eats, has never eaten decent Indian food, if they had, they would not eat again.

Zaffron, one of the few places worth eating in Farnborough, is like the other three businesses at Firgrove Parade, under threat of destruction, following last year Rushmoor granted planning consent for the area to be redeveloped.

The application to close the public right of way crossing Firgrove Parade has been challenged at a Public Inquiry.

Public Inquiry Firgrove Green Stopping-up Order

September 3, 2014
Firgrove Green

Firgrove Green

We would not be here if Rushmoor head of planning had not lied on the state of the trees, if spineless councillors on the planning committee did their job and questioned what was put before them.

Planning consent was granted last summer to destroy Firgrove Green for an unwanted 80-bed Premier Inn Hotel, and to destroy the four businesses at Firgrove Parade.

Almost immediately, tree surgeons were on the green cutting down the trees. The green was fenced off and the footpath running diagonally across the green, a popular short cut into town, illegally blocked off.

Bride Hall have been forced to apply for a Stopping-Up Order on the footpath, as otherwise, their unwanted development cannot go ahead.

The meeting started with barrister dumping several new documents. The correct procedure then should have been to either refuse the documents, or for the inquiry to be adjourned.

Following opening statements by the chairman, a long presentation by a so-called highways expert acting for the developer.

He came across as a clueless idiot.

He claimed, the path across the green was not safe, as badly lit at night and that those crossing the green were not observed. The impression given was that of going down a dangerous muggers alley.

He also claimed the route around the green was shorter, that it was the better route, and that it was safer.

Under cross examination, it was shown he had misled the inquiry. Having claimed there was no informal observation of the green, he was asked had he made a site visit? He said he had. He was then asked had he not noticed the CCTV? It was also drawn to his attention, the residential properties that overlook the green.

For some perverse reason, the ‘highways expert’ objected to a site notice that the footpath was to be closed for yet another unwanted hotel. Under cross examination, he was no clearer. Especially as part of their argument why they should be granted the Stopping-Up Order, was because they wished to build their hotel.

This also indicates a serious flaw in the entire process. At planning, committee instructed to ignore loss of a public right of way. At Public Inquiry, the demand is that loss of the public right of way be automatically granted on the grounds planning has been granted.

Objectors gave their views, the footpath gave a convenient short cut, has been in use over a very long period of time, it was safer as not likely to be jostled into a busy road, that fencing off of the green and illegal obstruction of the footpath gave the opportunity to observe what it would be like.

The highway expert, had produced a quick ball park figure, which would indicate few people on the footpath around the green. This did not match what local people had observed. He was also forced to admit there had been no survey carried out of the number of people actually using the various paths.

He was asked could he produce any crime data to support his assertion the path across the green was not safe. He admitted he could not.

Each objector was cross examined by the barrister for the developer. Much of his questioning was of no relevance as he referred to their objection to the planning application. The chairman in his opening statement, had made very clear, we could not go over the grounds of the planning application, a decision had been made to grant planning, and that could not be reversed. All we could consider were matters relevant to the public right of way. And yet, the chairman failed to intervene.

The second line of questioning, was to ask, is a wider path not preferable, is a path well lit not preferable, is it not better to walk a safer route?

A moment of light relief, Rushmoor lack more than a couple of brain cells to rub together.

The barrister made much in his cross-examination, that the path across the green, was narrower than that around the green, were it to be fenced in. This was challenged by one of the objectors. What was under discussion, was the legal right to cross the green, not the width of a specific path, the highway authority could choose to widen the path, and it would be churlish of the developer to fence it in and deny access to the green. The barrister wisely chose not to cross-examine on these points.

In his summing up, the barrister gave the impression Bride Hall was a benign organisation, their only interest in the stopping-up, to direct people around a safer route. His view of safe, was different to that of objectors, who do not regard safe, being jostled into a busy road.

He also summarised, that as Bride Hall had planning permission (the application being fairly handled by Rushmoor), then it was only proper they be granted a Stopping-Up Order, else their hotel could not go ahead.

The formal part of the inquiry was then closed.

There then followed a site visit. No additional information could be supplied. But, attention could be drawn to various aspects relating to the inquiry, for example CCTV and apartments overlooking the site, The Tumbledown Dick which will generate additional foot traffic.

The objectors made a very good case. They were also able to expose the flaws in the developers case. They had a fair hearing, which is more than can ever be said before Rushmoor planning committee.

The Planning Inspector now has to write a report and present his findings to the Secretary of State. The Secretary of State then grants or does not grant the Stopping-Up Order.

Present: a member of the planning committee, a planning official and a local troll who delights in posting abuse.

WHSmith Farnborough: Paulo Coelho’s latest book

August 29, 2014
Adultery Will I survive? Of course I will I've survived storms before.

Adultery Will I survive? Of course I will I’ve survived storms before.

Just when I think WHSmith can not get any worse (WHSmith Lincoln, WHSmith Camberley, WHSmith Farnham), WHSmith Farnborough once again proves me wrong.

Did they have Paulo Coelho’s latest book?

I look in all the obvious places, latest releases, special offers, even where it had been randomly filed over a week ago. I draw a blank. Nada.

A member of staff sees me looking lost, and offers to help.

Now there is a rarity, a helpful member of staff.

I say what I am looking for, he does not know, and goes off to ask another member of staff.

He returns with the answer, we had two copies, we sold them.

Now I think it fair to say, Adultery, Paulo Coelho’s latest book is not a rare limited edition. It is an international best-seller, last week in the Sunday Times best-seller list, WHSmith Farnborough sells their only two copies, but fails to re-order. A best-seller they have on special offer, only they do not bother to stock!

It is unbelievable anyone can conduct business in this slapdash manner and still remain in business. WHSmith has become a laughing stock. But I doubt they even care.

Adultery, published earlier this month, an international best-seller from an international best selling author, WHSmith has it on special offer at half price, they have failed to restock the copies sold, let alone on prominent display!

If you have an international best-seller on special offer, do you not have it on prominent display?

It is little wonder WHSmith a failing High Street chain, permanent fire sales. The only surprise is that they remain in business.

WHSmith Farnborough: Paulo Coelho’s latest book

August 20, 2014
Adultery international best seller

Adultery international best seller

I managed to catch WHSmith Farnborough about ten minutes before they closed.

Would WHSmith Farnborough have Paulo Coelho’s latest book?

I looked, I could not find, not with chart hardbacks, not with hardback special offers.

I asked at the information desk, or at least I did when someone came to man it.

As I asked the lady, most of the lights went out.

How to make customers feel valued and wanted. Health and Safety.

Paulo Coelho’s latest book?

I am now used to the blank stare. I give the title and am asked to spell Adultery.

A-d-u-l-t-e-r-y.

Not shown.

I look. Adultery misspelt, entered as author.

Try again.

Yes, we have, No idea where. Has to consult a list which shows where shelved.

We go to the end of an aisle, where as far as I can tell, the books are shelved randomly.

Yes, two copies, even have stickers saying on special offer at half price, but you would not know this, as shelved with only the spines showing.

I take both copies, two copies their entire stock.

Half price, a 20% off voucher giving a further 20% off, two books for £9-98, less than the cost of one at £14-99. Better than Amazon, even at half price without the extra 20% discount.

Adultery, published last week, an international best-seller from an international best selling author, WHSmith has it on special offer at half price, they have all of two copies in stock and not on prominent display!

If you have an international best-seller on special offer, do you not have it on prominent display?

It is little wonder WHSmith a failing High Street chain, permanent fire sales. The only surprise is that they remain in business.

Dysfunctional Stagecoach No1 Goldline bus service

August 14, 2014
Stagecoach clapped-out double decker bus

Stagecoach clapped-out double decker bus

Late lunch at Caffe Macchiato, I would have lingered for a tea or coffee or maybe a Peroni, but it was not raining, and as there had been heavy showers and thunderstorms all day, I decided not to risk it, leave and catch the bus.

I may as well not have bothered, the bus failed to tun up, neither did the next bus, finally a clapped out double-decker bus.

The 1825 failed to show, the 1840 failed to show. Finally a clapped-out double-decker bus turned up at 1850.

This is supposed to be a Goldline route, low loader easily accessible buses for disabled, kids in buggies, not a route for clapped-out double-decker buses. And yet that is what Stagecoach are running, and have been for some weeks.

I asked a couple of days ago, why? I got no response. I asked again today, to be told management decision.

An elderly disabled man who had been waiting sometime (I had been waiting 25 minutes) was left stranded. Driver and passengers did offer to help him onto the bus, but even had he been helped onto the bus, there was nowhere for him to park. The driver said the next bus too, was double-decker. The man said he would get a taxi. If he did, then Stagecoach should pay.

Speaking to the man left stranded at the bus stop, he said he had waited twenty minutes to get a bus into Aldershot (when buses are allegedly every ten minutes), then two buses came.

As I alighted from the bus, a second clapped-out double-decker passed us by.

On the bus all this week, notice saying new timetable, more frequent buses. Collect new timetable from bus station. Why not on the bus? Going in there were timetables (September 2013, not new timetable).

Many of the Goldline buses are not roadworthy. As they pull away from a bus stop, they belch out a cloud of black sooty smoke.

Whilst waiting for the bus, very black clouds approaching. Luckily though, I reached my destination before the rain arrived, but no thanks to Stagecoach.

Farnborough International Airshow 2014

July 20, 2014
Red Arrows

Red Arrows

Airbus A350

Airbus A350

Airbus A380

Airbus A380

Boeing 787 Dreamliner

Boeing 787 Dreamliner

airfield

airfield

banner

banner

Vulcan

Vulcan

Red Arrows

Red Arrows

Farnborough International Airshow Monday 14 July to Sunday 20 July 2014 in words and pictures.

Shame those local businesses who saw the airshow as an opportunity to rip off locals and visitors alike.

Nightmare for residents who find roads blocked, one way systems reversed, the area gridlocked.

A fun day for the family, but in reality, the world’s biggest arms fair, and as we are seeing in Gaza, it is civilians, women and children, who bear the brunt of casualties.

Benefits for a few, disbenefits for the many. Disbenefits greatly outweigh the benefits.


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