View Full Version : Council Cutbacks, kids lose out

06-May-03, 22:06
The council have again made cutbacks at the Rosebank Playing Field [disgust] , in order to not pay staff more money under the EU rules that seasonal workers get the same pay rates as full time workers ie. instead of staight time all season they get time & 1/2 when applicable. The playing fields now open at 2pm instead of 12 noon, the kids have now got even less of the day to enjoy tennis, golf, trampolines, checkers or bowls. When is it all going to stop the kids have little to nothing to do as it is, how are they to amuse themselves during a day? :Razz Trouble springs to mind, and then they wonder why it is happening.

07-May-03, 09:08
Two points…


There aren't all that many trees in Caithness to begin with, so the chances of any of them actually having money growing on them are slim to none.

Cutbacks are always going to hit a raw nerve with somebody, but when the council tax goes up to pay for these additional costs imposed by our European friends there'll be another thread on here complaining about that.

Then again, are checkers and bowls really the entertainment providers that the kids are looking for? I've now seen pictures of the half-pipe up at Ormlie and am told that there are other facilities (such as basketball courts/hoops) up there as well... I know which I would have preferred when I was a kid.


I am often surprised to hear people excusing the antisocial (and often illegal) actions of children as the product of boredom.

As a child (which wasn't all that long ago) I was quite capable of being bored without resorting to graffiti and vandalism. If I had nothing to do then I went out to play (and it was just as much fun in the rain). If I didn't want to go out to play then I'd find something else to do. If I was still bored then I was bored.

I understood the difference between right and wrong. I knew that breaking windows was wrong. I knew that scaring old ladies was wrong. I knew that running around the streets shouting and swearing was wrong. Most importantly, I knew the kind of trouble I would be in if I was caught.

It isn't boredom that makes a child run riot, it is the knowledge that if they are caught they will be excused because their parents think it is the council's responsibility to provide them with entertainment and their teachers' responsibility to teach them right from wrong.

It doesn't take Victorian style discipline to teach a child the acceptable way to behave. My parents taught me by their own example.


Sorry. Rant over.

07-May-03, 18:24
[lol] Get out of bed the wrong side today old man. I dont recall saying every child that had nothing to do would go and cause trouble, yes some of us do do other things to occupy our time. Its a fact that certain kids with nothing to do will find something mischievous to do. You obviously dont work if you think it is acceptable to cut a persons hours so not to pay them more money, look at what has happened with the firemen and their feelings to the restucture of the fire service to save money.

07-May-03, 20:56
Yup... sorry... I was feeling a little stressed when I posted that last one...


It's not that I think it is acceptable to cut somebody's hours just to save having to pay them more money... but I do live in the real world where, as I said, money doesn't grow on trees.

It's been a while since I last had cause to use the tennis courts etc., but looking back on the times I have been down there I can't think it was ever all that busy. In the 'real' world even councils have to be run as businesses, and people would kick up a royal stink if the council increased the pay for staff to cover a park that is seldom used. I’ve no access to any figures for this, just experience, so if the situation has changed I apologise, but without demand the council would have to be financially incompetent to offer the supply. Basic common sense really.

And as for the firemen… phew, don’t get me started… I’m afraid that I’m not much of a socialist and I don’t understand why firefighters feel entitled to insist on outdated working practices and are able to hold this country to ransom in order to maintain their internal powerbase and unrealistic conditions.

Colin Manson
08-May-03, 00:49
You obviously dont work if you think it is acceptable to cut a persons hours so not to pay them more money.

Hey I work and I think that's great, if they tell me that my hours are being cut and I still get the same pay! I'd probably hit the drink to celebrate :p

Bill Fernie
08-May-03, 02:26
I have not carried out any survey on Rosebank or seen any figures but I will say that on occasions when I have been out to take pictures of the Rosebank or surrounding area the place has been mainly deserted. I know I may have picked times when it happened to be fairly quiet but I think it was quite common to have empty periods. It may be that residents are not using the places enough. Use it or lose it. Do enough folk play putting to warrant having it? Maybe newer facilities are needed but would they be used. With so many kids spending more time with other pastimes perhaps the days of these parks are coming to an end. Is say this to spark the debate on what might be done to boost the income for the parks round the country? The swimming pools have had great success with their new season tickets paid by monthly direct debit. Perhaps something similar for the park might be a way of doing it.
The new play park and equipment at Bignold Park is being paid for by a lottery grant but this will not help all of the parks in the county. What are everyone else’s priorities and when were you last in one of the parks........................

08-May-03, 09:42
Your beginning to sound like a councillor already Bill ?

08-May-03, 10:50
Around my parts there are loads and loads of roundabouts... every single one of them is sponsored by a local business. Some businesses pay for sculptures, others just for the grass mowing - some even have the flowerbeds arranged in the company logo/colours.

Perhaps joint sponsorship between council and local businesses is the way forward for parks?

Bill Fernie
08-May-03, 10:58
Plenty of hats to wear - just depends on the weather which one I will put on. The reality is that we need a few new ideas for all these areas of public spending if they are not to die the death of a thousand cuts becoming less attractive and less viable along the way. Maybe the Internet connections should have been put in the parks around the country - then if the sun was shining the person controlling it could say you can only go on the internet after playing tennis for 20 minutes or get free access after play putting and so on. We are investing in Libraries to have the internet access but who is to say that really is the best place. Maybe folk interested in sport would rather have their access near the playing fields to look up items on their favourite game immediately rather than wait to go home or to the Library. When I was 12 we were hardly queuing up to go to the library where I stayed - we were playing tennis and other things if we could afford it. But still the best things we enjoyed was going of with a gang of folk along the burn and running or walking miles away - because we were not supposed to. I think that the problem might be that once something is always there and never changes it become like years old wallpaper you never see it till someone tears a big strip out of it or puts up something fresh...........................

08-May-03, 20:29
Its brilliant to see them finally upgrading the equipment at the Bignold Park but isn't it a bit far for kids from the other side of town to get to?

Bill Fernie
08-May-03, 21:20
On the Bignold Park you have to remember that the funding for this has not come from the council but obtained by a committee who set themselves up to get a lottery grant. It has been a lot of work and took two year to reach the present stage. So the problem now is do other folk want to set up or help the existing committee to raise funds to do similar in another part of town. The committtee deserve a big vote of thanks and I am sure that they will be happy to help another group or tkae over the exising structure. I am not sure how their constitution is set up but it may well allow for expansion into other parts of town if enough folk go along and help it to continune. Again its dependant on volunteer effort and folk having enough time and stamina to keep it going.

Mr P Cannop
09-May-03, 00:16
bill fernie is now a councillor

09-May-03, 08:52
How are they supposed to attract, kids and other visitors, in the condition the facilities are in,the kiosk/clubhouse is falling to bit holes in the floor guttering falling down
and the wont do anything about it.
the crazy golf needs replaced or painted, it is just an eyesore.
pot holes in the tennis courts, and offering the kids to play with huge wooden bowls at least 40 yrs old that are to big to hold doesnt encourage them to play.

all in all a disgrace and needs more money spent on it not less.

09-May-03, 09:38
Was the irony in your last post intentional, Alfy-redo, or did you just forget your own auto-signature? ;)

I mean, really… a rant like that (and you even went to the trouble to change the font so you could really shout) followed by 'If you want to do it, make time for it'.

Ow.. my aching sides :lol:

09-May-03, 10:12
i agree that the kids need something to do... i know they get bored i get bored!
but lets face it they need something more entertaining than what they have..
Let me say that i also think that just because they are bored there is no reason for the trouble they cause.. im not saying all the kids just the ones who are doing it..
what we need is updated facilities that will intrest the kids..
some where they could go to hang out and be cool *laughs*
i know it will never happen but we use to have a video arcade and that was where everyone went.. but then i dont know how kids up here like to spend their free time.. but it has to be better than sitting in the caves.. and playing chase the waves..
a half pipe is a great idea if you skate.. which a lot of kids do. and it would keep them out of the road and nearly geting run over.. allso wonders why they play football in the middle of the road when there are parks all around?
ive seen several times where afew certain boys have nearly gotten hit in pultney by running after a football into the road..
we do need something but its something that will have to be worked for... hmm anyone ever thought about asking the young folk what they would like to have (realistically of course) and see about working towards that goal?

09-May-03, 22:35

[lol] [lol] [lol]

09-May-03, 23:56
[lol] [lol] [lol]

:eyes :eyes :eyes

here we go again

10-May-03, 23:06
[mad] BULLDOSE IT, You must be a couch potato Deacon, just take away what little Wick has left for people who wish to enjoy themselves and build what?????? :confused the place is a disgrace but at least it gives the public some form of outdoor activity. Who is going to invest in Wick any more :~( Have you not noticed all the shops boarded up, jobs getting few and far between. You must be getting confused with Thurso, where everything is going, but thats another topic :roll:

10-May-03, 23:40
Well so what if the council have put very little in place for our kids. There are a many other fantastic folk in our town who readily give up their own spare time providing clubs and associations for them.
My children have rarely been pulled down by boredom because I have actively encouraged them to join a variety of club, depending on their very different interests.
So Tosh instead of moaning ,get out there and find something for your kids to do or set something up yourself.

11-May-03, 14:25
[mad] Who is going to invest in Wick any more :~( Have you not noticed all the shops boarded up, jobs getting few and far between.


Weatherspoons? Belhaven? Lidl?

11-May-03, 18:43
Evelyn, you obviously can not read properly, my argument is that the kids(all those who use these facilities, NOT, just mine) are having less to do what they enjoy by reducing the time the gates will be open. [mad] Not that it is any of your business, but my kids do have plenty of interests to fill there time, you may be the kind of parent that wants rid of their kids by forcing them to go to clubs, but I dont :mad: my kids only go to what they enjoy and they do just that. Bare in mind the summer holidays are very close and to my knowledge there is nowhere that offers entertainment for kids from 9am - 9pm. I have done and still do my bit for kids in the area.

11-May-03, 23:38
OOOH Tosh, don't ye love an argument!! Settle down now and organise a few anger management classes for yersel. :p
Yes I can read, I haven't missed the point, I may have strayed a little, but I get fed up with Wick being slagged off. The point I was trying to make is that there is plenty for the kids to do if we look for it. We know that the council aren't prioritising kid's play areas, so we have to find other ways to amuse them and I never find that a problem.
Organised clubs are a start, and even in the holidays the council has a brilliant summer activity programme.
We have lovely beaches nearby, and on even a cold day well wrapped up kids can make their own fun.
Rock pools are a treat, relatively safe roads for cycling, big open areas for playing football, rounders etc,a clean well maintained swimming pool, beautiful coastlines for walks and picnics...and so on.
I can't see that its going to make an awful lot of difference reducing the opening times of the Rosebank Playing Fields. Yes it lessens our choices, but there is still loads of time to play there. We just need to be more flexible.
Over the years I have spent quite a lot of time there and, as Bill suggested, it is very often empty. ..the ladies who work there have stated so. I agree it is in a dreadful state of disrepair and could do with a revamp, but at the end of the day its not worth getting our pants in a twist about a reduction in opening hours.

12-May-03, 17:42
Well Evelyn we can see why things are as bad as they are with people like you. Its only a few hours this year and maybe a few more next year and the next and the next, and so on, we might as well let them close the gates now [disgust] . Yes the place can be empty sometimes, that depnds on the weather, but it still manages to make a few thousand pound in a season, so it must be getting used by someone.

13-May-03, 17:29

Just a quick question… how busy do you think that Rosebank is between noon and 2pm?

Personally, I don’t know… but I am guessing that LUNCHTIME is possibly when it is at its quietist (at least it should be since that is when kids should be eating).

Okay, so Rosebank manages to pull in a few thousand pounds in a season… big deal! After paying the staff, maintenance bills, equipment costs, insurance premiums, and simply taking into account the value of the land that could have other uses, do you really think a few thousand pounds makes a big difference? Of course it doesn't.

The chances are that the council already runs Rosebank at a loss. The chances are also pretty good that the budget was set based on previous budgetary figures (probably before they new about this new legislation). So they are now faced with an increased requirement due to European legislation? Which would you rather they do; cut funds from elsewhere to make up the shortfall, or recognise that by closing over LUNCHTIME they can remove the deficit and keep the service during other times?

If you really believe that the council should keep Rosebank open over lunchtimes regardless of increased costs – where are they going to get the extra funding from?

Pick something that is unimportant to anybody, something that benefits nobody, helps nobody, and something that really won't be missed. It also has to have sufficient funds allocated to it to pay for Rosebank's deficit for the entire year.

Oh, and it has to be something to which the funds haven't already been assigned and spent, because if the council have spent £600k setting up a project and then cut the funds required to maintain it this year in order to keep Rosebank open over lunchtime, I think there may be questions asked.

So, Tosh, name your cutback!!!

13-May-03, 23:47
Wasting your energy gurning on a messageboard isn't going to change things Tosh.Therefore you are equally as complacent about the situation as I .
However if you have put your point to the council or organised a petition, I take my hat off to you for standing up for what you believe to be right.
Look forward to seeing you chained to the gates soon.
Evelyn ;)

14-May-03, 21:25
JJC, one thing they could cutback on is the amount of money they give councilors in subsistance.
Evelyn, I have been doing something other than moaning :roll: , but thats hush hush for now. ;)