/ BMC Peak Area Meeting & Pete Whittaker slideshow – 12 Feb 2014
Our main guest is Mary Bagley of the Peak District National Park, who will explain the Authority’s plans for the future of Stanage and the North Lees estate. Mary will answer any questions from the floor, so if you want to have your say on the future of Stanage at this crucial planning stage, this will be your chance.
Also, The National Trust will be attending to talk about some new initiatives at Longshaw.
To top off the evening, after a free supper provided by the BMC, local lad and one half of the world-famous Wideboyz Pete Whittaker will be giving a talk and slideshow on 'Recent Cutting Edge New Routes on Peak Gritstone'.
Date: Wednesday 12 February 2014, starting at 7.30pm
Venue: The Maynard Arms, Main Road, Grindleford, Derbyshire, S32 2HE
All are welcome.
With a full agenda we need to aim to start on time. Please try to arrive by 7.15, so you have plenty of time to get drinks in before the meeting starts.
See the BMC Local Areas site for more details: http://community.thebmc.co.uk/Event.aspx?id=3072
Well that was exciting .... trees down blocking roads and cutting the power to the pub so a prospect of no food, beer or meeting. In the end everything worked and 93 people turned up . I felt like we had taken a risk on a long walk in to a crag, to find it looking bad on arrival, only for the clouds to magically part just before we headed back. Mary from the peak park had an easier time on Stanage North Lees than I expected... she is promising full consultaion with climbers through things like The Stanage Forum and suggesting a formation of a charitable trust to ringfence funds etc but I guess most felt we will believe progress when we see it, as the level of consultation before she started in her role, fairly recently, wasn't good. The discussion on paying for parking in the currently free areas was as lively as one might expect. It also wasn't very impressive saying she hadnt got all her figures to hand because of only being there 3 months (I'd feel guilty using such an excuse after 3 days). She did present well given the projector wasnt working at that stage.
The remaining business was happier and Pete of course was an absolute star.
I felt a bit sorry for Mary - she was saying exactly what we want to hear but because she works for PDNPA we don't trust her. Hopefully she'll come back and give her full presentation at some future date, but I did get the impression of someone who shares our passion for the place
Like the idea of a ring-fenced charitable trust. Like the idea (Dave Parry ?) of a car sticker which give you free parking at the plantation for a year with the money going to that trust. Didn't like the comment (Paul Mitch ?) that our only interest/responsibility was in the rock faces.
John H is quite right that national parks are poorly funded compared to the Royal Opera House but that isn't going to change anytime soon.
We all need to accept that a charge on parking is not a charge on access, it's a charge on car use - think of the money we all give to petrol companies and car firms, yet refuse to give a couple of quid to support the upkeep of Stanage. £70 p.a. raised from the honesty box at the popular end - WTF!!! Last month I rode up from High Neb and counted 40 cars parked (illegally) on verges at Stanage and Burbage. Time for a change of attitude.
Turnout of 93 on such a grim night was amazing - well done Pete - but it meant I didn't get many chips !
I wouldnt object to paying for parking if the arrangements were fair and for that it seems to me the lead BMC access reps need to be convinced by having more access to the business plans, if neccesary on a confidential basis. If charges came in I would like to see a few free places to help affordability for those keen enough to get up early. The increasing amount of information around things like estate changes that are being moved into the confidential secgions of reports is a big worry, as how can we trust this is being done well by the peak park?
I agree it was a good thing that Mary came, and we should give her a chance, but she does come from an organisation that seems far more keen on maintaining the beaurocracy than the level of its services or fighting govenment harder for more. I've also seen many trustworthy looking managers in all sorts of areas before her, with stated good intent, promise much and deliver little. Hence healthy scepticism and a robust negotiating position would be my desire for the BMC involvement.
PS If you want chips dont wait too long. I had a small first helping from a position midway down the queue and when I'd finished I had time for a second helping when the queue had gone.
The world is full of people able to do stuff I can't do. Don't see why that should earn them a free parking space. Free parking at quiet times is more important.
As to affordability, wouldn't it be great if some of the revenue from parking went to help public transport for those who cant afford a car, petrol, insurance and all the other running costs. Those who can afford all those things (and that includes me) can also afford to chuck a couple of quid into the box every time we go there.
Some poorer folk can't do without a car and if they are local, petrol costs are hardly huge and if they visit regularly things get expensive. Same goes for those who save up to camp and take a car load to keep costs down. Then there are folk who refuse to pay on whatever grounds. All this means some limited first come first served free parking is always going to be appreciated. Its not vital in one specific place but I'd be very dissapointed if we lost it on all the main access points.
The system of public spending in the UK means that tax from cars and petrol is very much part of reducing public transport costs, especially for those over 60 (you feel unlucky again?). It also goes towards funding the PDNP..... in other words it is our money they spend and we need to remind them of that.
Donation boxes work much better in some areas so you have to ask yourself why climbers feel so little interest in donating here? I'd wager income would increase greatly if the money went to a ringfenced trust for North Lees. That would make me happy to donate for parking when I'm not currently.
Ed Douglas article on the BMC website here:
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