Thursday, 27 June 2019

My answers to the Neighbourhood Development Plan questionnaire (with a handful of minor edits…)

Lower and Middle Tysoe have already met their targets under Stratford District Council’s Local Plan; and yet the village is blanketed with active house building: none of which is affordable to our (meaning the majority of residents’) children: who have therefore to move out of the village (a heartbreaking process that I have sadly witnessed several times).

What I would really like to know is why the Neighbourhood Plan that was proposed (and seen as a good idea by most inhabitants) has transmogrified into a Neighbourhood Development Plan. Is it because those involved are keen on increasing the prices of the houses in Lower Tysoe; or simply wish to fill the pockets of our local property dealers (i.e. estate agents)?

Also: it is claimed that the NDP involved a great deal of public/inhabitant consultation: it “reflects the views and aspirations of Tysoe Residents” you stat(ed). But, as most of this involved writing “disagreed” against the majority of responses (which obviously made the NDP committee, and especially its chair, uneasy), surely the opposite is the case? Why?

[As my comments above are mostly questions, it seems to me that writing “disagreed” against them provides no sort of answer – in which case you have not only not ‘listened’ to me (as in all previous drafts); but have provided the politician’s usual defective reply: which is obviously a case of failed linguistic logic. I would like real answers, please.]

There seems to be an absence of sustainability: a property which I would have hoped ran through the document like a glistening thread of gold.

Thursday, 18 April 2019

I find myself again with my dear old friend, William Shakespeare…

I never thought to hear you speak again.
Shakespeare: Henry IV, part II (IV.v.90)

I was walking back into the arms of a lifelong friend – sadly, one not seen for quite some time. Hence the ferocity, sincerity, and length of the resulting hug. I wasn’t quite sure why I was there, though, to be honest. Although I had enjoyed the plays I had (relatively) recently seen him perform in – Henry IV, part I, Henry IV, part II, and Death of a Salesman – I was not a major fan of Antony Sher; and his presence on stage is therefore usually not enough to pull me in.

This is not why I had avoided his King Lear, though: that was because Michael Pennington’s incredible inhabitation of the role had ‘spoiled’ the play for me: in much the same way as Pippa Nixon’s perfection (in 2013, goodness me!) had ‘ruined’ the RSC’s current production of As You Like It. Which is one reason why a short run of a new two-hander was the occasion for my re-entry into the RSC’s hallowed headquarters – particularly to be enfolded in the arms of my favourite theatre, the Swan – rather than one of Will’s very, very best, in the main auditorium.

With being away from the place for so long, physically and mentally – I had bought too many tickets in the interim, only to cancel them again and again at the last moment because of my health… – I wasn’t aware that Kunene and the King (directed by Janice Honeyman) even existed. However, Michael Billington’s perspicacious review lit a spark deep inside me. Although it would take a while for the kindling to fully ignite.