Monday, 28 April 2008

NO 2 P & D

In the coming months as our campaign gathers momentum, it's possible that you will see more of our 'personalised' number plate, stating our opposition to 'pay & display' for workers. This was kindly donated to us by Western Registrations (Ann Street).

We would encourage you (and your friends) to support those who are supporting us.

Our group is running a campaign without funds, aimed at protecting your money. In contrast Roads Service and their new best buddy NCP are already coining it, but still plan to relieve you of even more of your hard earned cash. The choice is clear, get behind EWPG.

Sunday, 27 April 2008

Workers signing up

On the morning of Friday, 11 April members of EWPG visited the car parks at Queen Street, Castle Place and Wellington Place. Our mission was to increase awareness of the proposals being put forward by Roads Service in relation to car parking, and to highlight the likely implications for workers.

The response was incredible, with everyone being receptive to our message. So much so, that we succeeded in collecting 600+ signatures on our petition forms within the space of 90 minutes. We were also greatly encouraged by the fact that no fewer than 7 politicians turned up to show their solidarity with the town's workers, while apologies and messages of support were received from a number of others.

We are also indebted to the Fermanagh Council of Trade Unions for their assistance on the day and for their continued support with our campaign.

This was an extremely worthwhile exercise and had a re-energising effect on our group. Please continue to check this site for news of further activities.

Playing Your Part


ANYONE could have done it,

But NO ONE wanted to,

But SOMEONE could have only done,

What EVERYONE knew they could do.

When NO ONE wanted to do it,

EVERYONE was doing something else,

If only SOMEONE would have done it,

Instead, they cared about only themselves.

EVERYONE knew that they were able to do it,

But NO ONE would stand up to be that ONE.

Since NO ONE would volunteer to do it,

NO ONE did what ANYONE could have done.

So if NO ONE wants to do it,

Then YOU stand up and be that SOMEONE.

Because ANYONE can set a sincere example,

And be a leader for EVERYONE.


Mark Anthony Thomas is an award winning author, freelance writer, literary artist, and motivational speaker. He very kindly gave permission for his poem, 'What Anyone Could Do' to be included on this site, and it would be great if his words inspire each and every one of you to play a part in this campaign. So start sending those letters and emails, if you haven't done so already.

Saturday, 26 April 2008

Our Politicians

To date our MLA's and local councillors have been fully supportive of our efforts. It is indeed gratifying to report that our campaign enjoys cross party support and that our elected representatives are prepared to stand up for the town's workers. They have been generous with their time, and are a constant source of advice and guidance.

However it is important that workers continue to lobby politicians in respect of this issue. Letter writing and emailing can be time consuming, but well worth the effort if it helps you to save £700 per year.

Contact details for MLA's can be obtained by clicking on the 'membership' option on the following website:

Please remember to include Conor Murphy MP MLA (Department of Regional Development) on your mailing list.

Local councillors can be contacted as follows:

(click on The Council, then Councillors)

It may also be worthwhile informing the Chief Executive of Fermanagh District Council, Rodney Connor of your views:

Share your views with Roads Service

EWPG would strongly encourage you to make your views in relation to the current proposals known to the following Roads Service personnel:

Geoff Allister *
Acting Chief Executive
Clarence Court
Pat Doherty
Western Divisional Manager
County Hall
Drumragh Avenue
BT79 7AF
Colm McElholm
Traffic Management Department
County Hall
Drumragh Avenue
BT79 7AF
Henry Robinson *
Section Engineer
Roads Service
Castle Barracks
BT74 7HL
* Fermanagh man

Wednesday, 23 April 2008

Do they know us at all?

What anyone with even the vaguest knowledge of Fermanagh should know ......
  • that the County and its hinterland is predominantly rural
  • that the public transport system is inadequate
  • that consequently workers have little option other than to drive to work
  • that many workers employed in shops/service sector are on, or just above the minimum wage
  • that these workers cannot afford to pay £700 per annum in parking charges (not that anyone can)
  • that ultimately such businesses will experience difficulties in recruiting staff

Maybe someone will inform Roads Service accordingly.

A Worker's Lot

  • saddled with a mortgage
  • struggling to put children through 3rd level education
  • having to pay for childcare
  • faced with an increased domestic rates bill (expected to rise even further once the proposed amalgamation of Fermanagh and Omagh councils occurs)
  • fearful of what the imminent water charges will bring
  • worried about NIPSA warning that up to 10,000 public service jobs could disappear within N. Ireland
  • concerned that the current state of world financial markets will have a devastating effect on pension fund
  • irritated by the ever spiralling costs of keeping a vehicle on the road
  • resigned to the fact that rising fuel costs will in turn increase the cost of everything e.g. weekly shop, domestic heating bill etc
  • frustrated by own inability to save money
  • outraged that Roads Service would even consider inflicting further taxation upon workers

Monday, 21 April 2008

It doesn't stop at Queen Street

Our group is convinced that Queen Street is only a pilot scheme, and that 'pay & display' will be rolled out to each of the town's other 'free' car parks in turn. The proposal currently under consideration is totally profit driven, as the car park under threat has little or no appeal for shoppers. A visit any Saturday afternoon will confirm this to be the case.
However it is only too obvious that Roads Service have little interest in presenting an accurate account of car park utilisation in Enniskillen. Why else would they have conducted their most recent survey in December 2007, if not to put a false slant on the situation? Everyone knows that the lead up to Christmas is the busiest period of the year in any town.
Even if the changes at Queen Street car park are a one-off, the consequences will be experienced in both Castle Place and Wellington Place car parks. The 95 displaced motorists from Queen Street will seek 'free' parking elsewhere. Effectively there will be more people competing for fewer 'free' spaces.

Sunday, 20 April 2008

Unanswered Questions

Only the cities of Belfast and Derry (N. Ireland's two largest centres of population) are ahead of Enniskillen when it comes to the number of parking tickets issued each year.
Between November 2006 and March 2008 a total of 16,218 parking tickets at £30 or £60 a time have been issued in the town. This equates to £486,540 at the lower rate, and £973,080 at the higher band. Even a mid-point figure of £729,810 amounts to a staggering total. Such information invites the following questions:
  1. how much of this revenue is Roads Service spending on the upkeep of the road network within County Fermanagh?
  2. what percentage is leaving Northern Ireland and finding its way into the coffers of NCP Services?

We shall await the Roads Service reply with much interest.

Saturday, 19 April 2008

Commitment (or lack of) to Fermanagh

It will not come as any surprise to residents of the county to learn that over the last five years Fermanagh is at the bottom of the list for the roads budget.
A mere £2 per mile is spent on building new roads, while a miserly £3.60 is spent on road repairs.
It is entirely reasonable to assume that this imbalance (not to mention injustice) would be addressed as a matter of urgency, especially considering the present poor state of our roads, but alas this is not to be.
A total of £3.09 billion is to be spent on Northern Ireland's roads, with only £5.5 million being designated for Fermanagh.

The red herring of Holyhill

Roads Service have stated that there is spare capacity in the car park at Holyhill Link Road. This conveniently ignores the fact that the majority of government offices are located in the west end of the town.
Although much valued by those motorists who avail of it, the demand for this particular car park diminished when the Ulster Farmers Mart (Enniskillen) moved to its present site at Lackaboy.
Should workers from the 'west end' be forced into using Holyhill, it is unlikely that they would carry shopping quite literally the length of the town, thus inflicting yet another blow upon Enniskillen's beleaguered traders. It is also totally unreasonable to expect people to carry work-related files such a distance.

Roads Service Proposals

Introduce 'pay & display' at the car park in Queen Street, Enniskillen (95 spaces)

Change the tariff in Quay Lane south car park from 30p for three hours to 30p per hour

Provide approximately 27 additional free car parking spaces at Wellington Place

(formal legislative and consultation processes to take place August / September this year).