Sunday, May 25, 2008

Open Up Them Pearly Gates

As always I am overstating the case but it is not with giant leaps but inch by inch we lose our freedom.

An example of this axiom is the Norwich City Council's latest wheeze. From 8pm at night until 8am in the morning part of the Riverside Walk will be closed off to all but visitors to the Yacht Station. (For those who don't know this is a popular stroll with local residents in the summer evenings)

Presented with the problem of people returning from the pubs and clubs late at night the worse for wear and casting off boats from the Yacht Station, the council decided not to cause the area to be policed to stop this from happening. They also decided not to punish or make liable the pubs and clubs who were selling the alcohol. They decided instead to punish everyone else by blocking off the staithe at night. People mooring in the boats, we are told, will be given the combination number to the locks but no one else. There was no local consultation about this at all. We lose an amenity, and have to pay for its loss out of the council taxes but we have no say.

Presumably they feel that at 8pm we should all be tucked up in bed with our cocoa and only troublemakers will complain.

I hate this. Our right to roam is one of our most precious freedoms. Happily the Council are a bunch of cheapskates where their own expenses claims are not involved. They have installed a shoddy Squire combination lock. It took well under 30 seconds to work out the combination. It is 8228. It is the same number for the gates at both ends. I will update this as it changes.


Teena said...

Fantastic! No wonder they're locking churches with such talented lock pickers in the county! I don't know this stretch of the river. I might make a visit one evening near midsummer just to be able to stroll where I oughtn't. Thankfully I'm not paying Norwich council tax. It's not the right to roam that bugs me, it's the fact that instead of doing something about children of 18 getting so blind drunk they kill themselves falling into the river on the way home, they just lock a bit of riverbank to protect peoples' boats. Surely the root cause of the problem would be a better place to start! Keep up the good work (just never reveal your methods!) Now, it's 5.30 and I'd better start brewing that cocoa!

Eloise said...

Thank you for the gate code, I have been trapped between the two gates with some tourist friends, I was showing around Norwich and had the embaressing task of having to climb over gates not a good look, for tourism.
People who own boats fall in the water when drunk too, its just one of those things that occassionally happens putting up pernament gates is not away of solving anything.