My resolution for 2013: breaking bad email habits

I’ve a habit to confess to, which I’d like to break this year. Emails have had a hold on me for more than 15 years, arriving and requiring responses at all hours. The more I respond, the more traffic arrives to fill the void. I came into work early this morning after a week or so off to clear out the messages that had landed over Christmas before getting on with the rest of the day.

Driving into the office before 7am after a lovely festive break with family and friends, it is easy to be struck by how maddening this is. As new year’s resolutions go, breaking the cycle of email addiction is one of the better ones I’ve made.

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When will Haven get its hump back?

Ex hump-back bridge in Broad Haven

The freak conditions have claimed a surprise victim in Broad Haven, Pembrokeshire, down the road from where my parents live.

The hump back bridge at the foot of Haroldston Hill has disappeared, swept into the sea by the high tide on Wednesday last week. All that appears left is the wall running parallel to the beach, which now dangles precariously without support over the sea-front.

No more walking across that wall with the kids for a while now, it would seem. Those who live or stay at the bottom of the hill face the inconvenience of a detour around the back roads to get through the village or into town.

Pembrokeshire County Council appears unable to say when the road will be restored. I hope I am wrong, as the Haven can’t afford to have the road closed for long, but my money’s on it taking a while to fix.

Those who wish to make the case for a swift response to the council should drop a line to its transport unit in Haverfordwest, or to Cllr Keith Lewis, who chairs its Economy Overview and Scrutiny Committee.

For Jane

This is a personal post, which I’ve been thinking about for days following the death of someone very special last weekend. Jane Bell, owner of the Druidstone in Pembrokeshire, wife, mother, grandmother and friend to so many (including me) died on 12 August after a battle against pancreatic cancer.

Hundreds of people came to the hotel yesterday from all across the world to celebrate a lady who has spent the last 40 years creating the most remarkable place many of us have known.

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Royal visit brightens a summer deluge

I went to the fantastic Heartlands regeneration project in Pool yesterday, which helped kick off the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall’s three-day visit to the county.

They were greeted by lines of local people who braved the dreadful weather, makeshift rain macs and all, to greet the couple on their visit to the former tin mine, which has been transformed into what’s been described as ‘Cornwall’s cultural playground’.

There was plenty do during their two hours at Heartlands, including a tour of the adventure playground which has been designed by local kids, meeting supporters of the project, checking out the local businesses who make up the market place on the site and unveiling a stone engraved to commemorate the visit and draw links to the area’s mining industry.

Some pictures, which show the weather in its glory, are below. Thankfully, the rain didn’t take the shine off the day for those who were there.

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Links I like 12.06.26

What a wonderful world (of local government blogs and blogging) – We Love Local Government
This feels like a shameless plug, but what’s a blog for if you can’t self-promote? I was delighted to be mentioned yesterday in We Love Local Government’s excellent round-up of blogs they deemed to be of interest to the sector. The good folk at WLLG were clearly aware of my lack of posts during Euro 2012 when stating that the blog was worth a peek ‘every now and again’. It’s good to be noticed though. The other blogs are well worth a read by the way. 

 

 

Links I like 12.05.05

Reaction to the elected mayor vote in Bristol – various
Well done Bristol for bucking the national trend and voting decisively, if in small numbers, in favour of an elected mayor to lead the city from November. They were the only city to vote yes to the proposal following a pretty low-key campaign on the issue. The Centre for Cities has published some links on the issue, while the Bristol Post’s coverage of the result and early indication of who the runners and riders for Bristol’s first elected mayor has been well-informed, detailed and sharp, as good local journalism should be. Whether the result was an endorsement of the proposal or due to more negative factors is open to question, which The Guardian poses in its leader on the issue today. Having followed the debate, I’m sure many people voted yes because the current council leadership was against the idea. Anti politics and apathy were the biggest winners this week, but all is not lost. Hopefully a new way of doing things in Bristol will start to change that.

Elections – ‘We the council’ – Kevin Jump
‘Webist’ Jump provides insight into the information provided by council websites about this week’s local elections. He concludes that interest in the local elections is high and the correct information is available, but is not entirely useful and lacks focus on the needs of local users. A number of websites in the area I cover at work are included in the survey.