Saturday, 18 September 2010

Remember the tree? Well it's nearing the end, sorry! My letter to the council below explains everything, but in a nutshell, they had a secret meeting and the rest is history. But hey, come on people, we didn't believe we lived in a democracy anyway, did we?

Daniel Sencier
X, Wordsworth Terrace

Letter to Eden District Planning Committee – 18th September 2010

Tree Preservation Order No 134, 2010. Voreda House, Penrith

I opened the Herald this morning with some shock, to find that last week, the Council Planning Committee have decided that this tree can be cut down. Local residents and the Planning Department assured me from the start, that I could never win against the NHS.
But I am livid at the process that I have just been witness to.

I have a letter, which I have enclosed, from the council, clearly stating that, “You are able to support or object to the serving of the order, as explained in the Formal Notice. All objections or representations should be received by 6th October 2010”. When I made the original objection to the tree coming down, the council voted for the Tree Preservation Order, and told me that I would be kept informed as to what would happen next. Nobody has been in touch so I assumed that all was safe until 6th October.

Having consulted with the residents that I represent, and seeking advice from our own professional contacts, I posted our ‘support’ for the tree preservation order on Friday 17th September, and copied in, by e mail, all councillors on the Planning Committee that same day. This was well ahead of the deadline of 6th October, but we had no idea that a meeting had already taken place.

Unknown to us, the Council Planning Committee invited the NHS to their meeting last week, to further discuss the felling of the tree. We, the residents who were objecting, were not even told that this was going on behind our backs. A bit like having a court hearing, where the ‘prosecution’ is invited but the ‘defence’ is not even made aware that the trial is taking place! You would not think that possible, would you, but it has just happened!

Am I living in, ‘the land of make believe’? Can you really sit there as our representatives and treat us with such contempt? I have written letters, e-mails and made phone calls, to both the Planning Department and Councillors since the Tree Preservation Order was granted. Nobody has replied to me!

I have to ask myself if this was some cloak and dagger exercise, requiring cunning and stealth. But having experienced a Planning Committee Meeting, the explanation is just a little bit more pathetic than that. If you are a large organisation, like the NHS, Alba Proteins or Sainsbury’s, the Council will take you seriously, and bend over backwards to accommodate you. However, if you are a resident of Penrith, a person who elected this Council to serve you, then as far as Eden District Council are concerned, you are invisible; get used to it!

Yours Sincerely

Daniel Sencier

I have now made a complaint to the 'Procedures Department' but I think they will wear me out first! :-)

My 'seasickness' has calmed today, just a bit in the morning but it seems to be getting better. Another person who may experience sickness today is my daughter Chantal, who is passenger with Sasha as she drives on her first 'real drive' to Cambridge. It was so funny as she told me this morning how she pulled into a garage to fill up for the first time. How do I open the petrol cap? Which pump do I use? How the pump kept cutting off and it took 20 minutes to fill up! Well you just don't know when it's your first time do you? I look back on the first time I did many things and cringe, don't you?

I'm not sure when the first time I had sex was, though it sure wasn't when I first lay naked with a girl! It depends on what you count as 'sex'. It's not as easy as defining the first time you, 'ate an apple' is it? Well you don't spend hours talking to the apple, admiring it, getting closer, touching it, smelling it, tasting it and finally biting into it; you just do that last bit first. 'When did I first have sex?' is more like 'When did I first ride a bike?' You stand beside it, look at it's shape and trim, feel the hand grips, tweak the bell and horn, imagine the comfort of the saddle, see how firm the tyres are, and all this before you even try to mount it. Then when you get on, sometimes you just fall straight off, or you might go for a while and then just keep losing your balance and end up in a bush. It takes a while to get in full flow and once you do, you never forget how to do it again. Though you do get a bit slower and have to hold on more as the years go by.

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