I WAS very surprised to receive a personal invitation from your correspondent Mr Paul Lewney via your edition of the Northumberland Gazette of August 11, as I have never heard from him otherwise, nor to my knowledge have I ever met him.
However, in regard to Swarland Show, his offer to accompany me ‘round some of the highlights in store’ is a generous one, and having been made in this manner might well have given added publicity (date, time and venue), to the event.
Of course, I do accept the sincere apology for the incident which occurred last year, but I wonder why none has been offered to Mrs Carol Rogerson who is also a parish councillor and was accompanying me on the day and helping me negotiate access to the pavilion whilst carrying a very large cake and other impedimenta necessary on a wet day.
Two of us were affected, not just myself.
I wonder, too, why the ubiquitous excuse of health and safety is given now, as the entry gate in question is the only one by which cars carrying disabled people can gain access. Perhaps that was forgotten.
But the final sentence of Mr Lewney’s letter infers that the discourtesy Carol and I experienced is preventing our parish council from being able to focus on ‘other matters in the community,’ and I certainly take issue with this.
The matter of our own incident was reported and resolved almost a year ago.
Since then, as chairman of the Vyner Park Committee, I have been approached by some residents, who do not attend the show, being denied access to the land on show day – land which is held by the parish council on behalf of ‘the people of Swarland.’
There are other factors which are relevant to this matter, but it would be inappropriate to mention them at this time and in this medium.
Suffice it to state that I have never impeded focus on any business of our parish council, but I make no apology for bringing to its notice matters which are brought to mine by the people whom I represent.
In my view, nothing which concerns someone in this parish is too trivial for consideration and discussion.
Mr Lewney’s letter has clarified one aspect of the matters – health and safety, but the closure of which he writes, the incident affecting Coun Rogerson and myself happened 10 months ago.
Any mention made more recently has been only to illustrate the other problem.
On a personal note, I have attended every Swarland Show since the first was proposed and organised by Derek Jamieson and Brian Collins, and I commend those people who have given of their time and energy to achieve its success – over the years and now in 2011.
I know the hard work involved in all of our village shows, and the hopes invested in good weather, large crowds and enjoyment for everyone.
May August 27, not disappoint.