Thursday, 28 February 2013

McDonald's - Declaration of Interest

The McDonald Belgian Bliss Brownie
In light of the accusations that have been thrown my way lately, I wish to declare that my sister gave me a brownie that I really enjoyed this lunch time. When I asked where she got it from I was presented with a McDonalds wrapper!!

I deeply regret any offence this may cause.


Rob Stevens said...

Hello David

I'm not offended by this - a bit of humour is always welcome...

..but most of us aren't laughing about what is happening to Farnborough and the TDD dereliction is probably the most visible sign of developers abusing the town for profit.

I don't even blame them particularly, we do live in a capitalist society - but lack of serious attempts to protect heritage has practically invited them to try it, and get away with it.

This would be bad enough, but introducing a second McDonalds is probably the worst possible thing that could happen. Take a trip (I dare you) to Farnborough Gate late at night to see what we are proposing to allow in the middle of the town. It isn't pretty as the (reported) crime figures for the immediate area of FG indicate.

And then there is the health angle. I'll admit I've eaten McDonalds (normally motorway services) but the blossoming obesity figures of Rushmoor are no joke. FYI, That single brownie supplies 45% of the daily saturated fat for a woman, and over 50% of that for a child.

I'll leave everyone else to comment now - but please don't forget my points 3 & 4 from the Tumbledown thread. It would be very useful to know more about the consultation reports and decision process for the SPD.

David Clifford said...

Hi Rob, Point 3 you need to address to The Farnborough Society. Bear with me on point 4 and I will see what I can find out. It may be early next week as I am trying to deal with a 'year end' at work.

Rob Stevens said...

Appreciated David.

Andy Clark said...

I too can see the humour in your blog David, however I cannot see any humour in potentially seeing a live music and entertainment centre (and historic building) be allowed to go to waste whilst the corporate machine of McDonalds gets obese on money whilst we get obese on saturated fat.

It would be so much better to create genuine art and entertainment in Farnborough and not just more fat kids.

David Clifford said...

Agreed. I am 150% in favour of a live music and art venue in Farnborough. We badly need a cultural centre. I would like to see a brand new purpose made venue for such a thing.

Also agree with healthy eating and the concern that we are now giving birth to a generation that may die before their parents. Not so funny.

Rob Stevens said...

I'm glad you see things that way in terms of encouraging more interactive entertainment (as opposed to sitting and effectively watching TV at the cinema)

There are several problems with your idea of a new, dedicated venue. They might be overcome, but:

1) Yourself and TFS have made statements about this, but I don't see mention of it any any of the proposals for the town.

2) The cinema we finally see coming has been gestating for about a decade, it seems - despite the obvious draw for a commercial company. A venue isn't going to have nearly as much interest from the private sector because it isn't a quick/easy win for them.

3) Which brings us to money. RBC has placed great emphasis on their plan for regeneration but I would be susprised if they have the money to construct a decent sized venue available.

4) Location: Where would a venue go? (as it stands the plan shows much of the land under shops etc, and the TDD plot would be a greasy eyesore) It needs to be central.

5) I'm open to accusations of snobbery here, but a modern, purpose built venue is likely to be a soulless creation. Venues, especially ones where bands play benefit greatly from having *lived* - you only have to look at the type of venues run by mean fiddler to see what I mean.

Modern buildings can be good, but are RBC really going to push the boat out with an architect and dramatic appearance? I can see something not unlike like the (frankly) hideous Princess Hall emerging.

6) There is an uncertainty about the kind of venue that RBC and TFS really picture. I have a sneaky feeling that am-dram and panto will be the target, with music/youth theatre etc being an afterthought. Willing to be challenged on that, but seeing as one of the tenets of the TDD campaign is to provide a home for the many talented local musicians it is important that the message is not lost.

My view is that with renovation and a new hall that is sympathetic to the main TDD structure (and ideally a second route of access from the rear), we could have an incredible venue that would be capable of showcasing local talent and still be big enough to attract larger acts from elsewhere. The proximity to transport makes it ideal for customers from the whole M3 corridor. It could be something really special and unique.

And it could still be a bar, cafe, recording studio and other things for the community. What was it again that you and TFS were lamenting the lack of again?

You are probably wondering why I, a 40 year old IT geek who lives in Hart is taking the time to counter your one-liners.

I was born in Farnborough (Empress ward) and went to school/college there. I met the woman who would be my wife there and spent many a good time at the TDD with her and many good friends. I've owned two homes there, worked there, brought two children into the world there and now bring them to visit their grandparents. (my family has been in this area for generations and feature in a Jo Gosney book)

All this time I have believed that this town could be so much more and trusted that those who stand for office and run this local authority would feel the same way. However, in recent years it has become painfully apparent that progress has really been sideways..or backwards - retail was seen as the fix but that is so unsatisfactory to the minds and souls of young people. What saddens me more is hearing the same young people say that McDonalds is a sign of progress, prosperity and even improvement in social life.

The 'fire sale' development has to stop. Now it threatens to claim a building that should have been cherished by all - and I'm sad to say it has happened with barely a whimper from the people who had any power to do something about it. This building sits in your ward, so for all good intentions, this has happened on your watch.

That is why I'm doing this.

But back to the subject. Great - if RBC and TFS really can turn good thoughts and words into bricks and mortar then please do go ahead soon before everyone gives up hope.

Rob Stevens said...

On a lighter note, I should point out that I am not a serial objector, enemy of authority, anarchist, political activist or any variety of lunatic. I'm not a complainer and have no personal dislike for anyone.

I also had little more than a passing interest in planning matters - until recently of course.

So be reassured that I am unlikely to be much bother to RBC again...but only once this sorry episode reaches a conclusion..