I am certain it is not me!

For many years when I have made comment on various concerns, I have asked the question ‘Is it me’ as we tend to think that the older and hopefully wiser you get you tend become a tad less tolerant and hopefully not too cynical.

However, the saga of Hall Leys toilets reverses my own thought process.

It is unbelievable that a council did not understand its own planning arrangements for the new toilet, the district council can side shift the reasons to the ‘Agent’ who design and build (D&B) the project. However, they are ultimately responsible as the client. Under the Construction Design and Management Regulations 2005 the ‘Client’ has various duties (this project will be notifiable under the CDM Regs/over 30 working days or 500 person days) not only to provide sufficient time and resources but more importantly to ensure that the project team are competent to carry out the works (D&B) and whether the team has the information it needs about the site, in this case they have obviously failed in this to carry out their duties.

It can only be expected that whoever was responsible will carry on with no repercussions to the contrary, which I am afraid in the real world of the private sector would not be the case.

The other concern is the closure of the toilets in the play area of the park during winter, and I can only concur with Cllr Flitter’s comments. However, may I direct all to the autumn edition of ‘Dales MATTERS’, page 3, left hand column, where Hall Leys Park has been awarded a Green Flag and the park stood out after impressing with ‘excellent facilities’.

The DDDC chairman states that ‘it is a tribute to the DC parks staff that this terrific facility in the heart of Matlock just gets better and better’ and it can truly be seen that the parks staff do a wonderful job and the park is a credit to them.

However, can the same be said of DDDC, who it would appear think that once the Green Flag is obtained they can chop these ‘excellent facilities’.

According to reports the closure of these facilities will save £136k. May I be so bold as to suggest that they save somewhere in the region of 50 per cent of that by getting rid of the individuals responsible for the complete mess of the new toilets, thus keeping the play area toilets open for 50 per cent more time.

So once again, in my 63rd year, I ask myself ‘is it me’ and I can genuinely and honestly look at myself in any mirror, see a balding, grey haired ‘wrinkly’, and say absolutely not.

Can the members of the DDDC who approved the new toilets and voted to close the play area facilities say the same. Absolutely not. No it is definitely not me, but is it most definitely THEM!!!

Jim Higham