Friday, 27 April 2012

False economy

I popped in to Crowborough Library recently, and in the council’s foyer I saw the plans for lighting our streets in the nights to come.

I know the council must save money. I’m all for sensible cost cutting. I have no issue whatsoever with turning off every other light in a road. Presumably, that’s a 50% reduction at a stroke, with little loss of illumination.

I’d even cut every other light on those roads where they propose keeping things as they are. They’d still be well lit enough to be safe, and I doubt it would distress anybody.

What will distress people is the proposal concerning other streets, whereby ALL lighting will be turned off from 00.30 to 06.30 nightly. To me, that’s economy at the expense of public safety, and that’s no economy at all.

For one thing, people are still out and about at half past midnight. Even my quiet cul-de-sac is not completely deserted at that time, although Sunday to Thursday it’s generally silent by 1am. Waiting an extra thirty minutes could make a big difference.

Fridays and Saturdays, of course, people are out till the small hours and need lights to get home. Girls in particular need to see properly to feel safe. Would you be happy if your daughter was walking home in the pitch darkness? I know I wouldn’t.

And what about potholes? Treacherous in daylight, in the dark they’d be lethal. A few compensation claims from Lawyers4U would completely wipe out the savings on the electricity bill.

I hope the council will think again and leave us some lighting, at least at those times when people are still likely to be out. Or will someone have to be hurt before they realise that some economies are just not worth the candle?

Saturday, 21 April 2012

Pit Your Wits for World In Need

If you enjoy Quiz Nights, there's a treat in store for you. 

Come and join us at the All Saints Church Centre on Saturday May 12th for the World In Need “Pit Your Wits” Evening. Doors open at 7pm for a 7.30pm start.

Our quiz master is Nigel Large. While he tests you, his sister Hilary and her team will provide a ploughman’s meal to help keep the little grey cells nourished. Drinks will be on sale, to include teas and coffees as well as wine.

Tickets for the quiz and buffet are £7.50 per person. Bring your own team of up to eight players, or come along and we’ll find you a team on the night.

Nigel has a devious mind, and to make the evening a little different while raising as much money for World In Need as we can, he has devised and prepared some extra brain teasers. These puzzles are in addition to the main quiz rounds, and are not included in the ticket price. They will be available before the quiz starts and in the interval, and will cost you a small extra donation.

Tickets are available from Marilyn on 01892 669834, or reserve yours by emailing

Thursday, 5 April 2012

Disappearing witnesses

Easter once was an important time of year. Like Christmas, it was a date to set goals: “By Easter, I will have done this or achieved that.” It determined the school term and heralded summer after harsh and unforgiving winter.

For Christians, Easter is far more, of course. Celebrating the death and resurrection of Jesus, it is the most important time of our year. Far more important than Christmas.

For many years, Christians in Crowborough marked Good Friday with a Walk of Witness. They walked from the United Church to the town centre, at once thanking Jesus for his sacrifice and making a public declaration of their faith. Years ago, the police arranged for the temporary halting of traffic for this, although more recently we’ve had to squeeze onto pavements and take our chances at junctions. The long lines of walkers became little clumps as one group crossed a road and another group waited for a new break in traffic.

This year, there will be no walk at all. I find this a shame. Not because I feel everyone should celebrate my God, or because I wish to proselytise, but because I am proud to confess myself his follower, happy to stand and be counted for him.

I don’t mind that others carry on with their normal day. I don’t mind if they ignore me, or even mock me for marking the occasion. That is their right. I simply would like to be able to walk and witness with others whgo share my beliefs. Is that so wrong?