Monday, 29 September 2008

Well Done One & All

In the previous posting we invited you to come along and to leave Roads Service in no doubt as to the unpopularity of their proposals in respect of Queen Street Car Park. Well you certainly didn't disappoint.
In fact the turn out of 120 people (one for every minute of the event), far exceeded even our expectations, and if Roads Service thought that the introduction of 'pay & display' was a mere formality, then they had better think again. Yesterday (Monday), the workers of Enniskillen spoke as one, sending out a loud and clear message that they will resist all efforts to change the status of Queen Street.
We wish to express our sincere thanks to those politicians who attended, to those who sent representatives, or who sent messages of apology; to the trade union personnel, and the members of Fermanagh Trades Council; to the irrepressible Desi Quinn (local trader), who did not baulk at showing his solidarity with the town's workers; and finally to YOU, the workers of Enniskillen for answering our call in such numbers.

Wednesday, 24 September 2008

5 Minute Investment Plan

EWPG is appealing for the workers of Enniskillen to turn out in force on Monday, 29th September in order to voice their opposition to the introduction of 'pay & display' at Queen Street Car Park. Roads Service is staging a Public Information Event in the local Library on the day in question (between noon and 2pm). You are not required to attend for the entire duration.
We would however wish you to ponder the following in advance:

Do you really believe that Roads Service will stop at converting approximately 50% of the spaces at Queen Street to P & D?

Do you think that they will maintain the proposed charge of 30p per 3 hour stay?

Are you convinced that Queen Street will be the last car park to suffer this fate?

Do you know what percentage of every £1 collected in parking revenue goes into the coffers of NCP, and consequently out of the Province?

Please give up 5 minutes of your time next Monday and you could very well save yourself £700 per year in parking charges. Previous campaigns to retain maternity services at the Erne Hospital, and to secure the siting of a new state of the art hospital on the outskirts of Enniskillen, have shown that the people of Fermanagh can be a formidable force when they set their minds to it. Although we would be the first to admit that car parking is not as emotive an issue as health care, these proposals nevertheless, if adopted, will have serious financial implications for many workers in our County town, and will set a dangerous precedent. Monday is to all intents and purposes a referendum of the future of 'free' car parking in the heart of Enniskillen.

Monday, 15 September 2008

Different Tactics (Same Goal)

DRD Roads Service originally proposed converting all 95 parking spaces at Queen Street to 'pay and display.' However the notice issued in relation to the Public Information Event would appear to suggest that they have compromised somewhat and refers to an area of pay and display at the Queen Street Car Park (43 spaces).
EWPG is not taken in by this apparent offer of an olive branch and consequently, we are firmly of the opinion that it is the intention of Roads Service to ultimately change the status of the entire car park to P & D. Whether they do it piecemeal, or in one fell swoop, is of little consequence to them, just so long as they achieve their objective in the end.
These actions are profit driven and will most certainly not end at Queen Street. Roads Service may adopt whatever game plan they choose, but we at EWPG will not be taking our eye off the ball.
It has also not escaped our notice that the Public Information Event has been scheduled for a Monday, a day when our MLA's are required to be in attendance at Stormont.
Perhaps it's time for Roads Service to review their tactics yet again as they're been rumbled.

Make Your Voice Heard

DRD Roads Service has informed EWPG that a Public Information Event will be held in the Library (Enniskillen) on Monday 29th September 2008, from midday to 2pm.
The purpose of this event is to afford everyone likely to be affected by the proposed revision of parking arrangements at Queen Street Car Park with an opportunity to air their views. Staff from Road Service Traffic Management will be in attendance and it is important that we leave them in no doubt as to the unpopularity of the current proposals.
Therefore we would encourage as many people as possible to turn up on the actual day. Your indifference or inaction, will only act as a rubber stamp for Roads Service to proceed as planned. Let's show them that the workers of Enniskillen are made of sterner stuff and that we will not give up 'our' car park without one almighty fight.

Gallagher's Garden

Gallagher's Garden (see previous posting) was the subject of a tribute in verse by local Enniskillen poet, Gerry Quinn (now deceased). Once again, Gabriel Murphy is responsible for bringing this to our attention. Unfortunately owing to the constraints of space we are unable to include the full text of the poem, but have inserted some verses at random. The complete poem can be found in the excellent local publication ' A Dander Down the Streets'
* * * * *
From the days of my youth I remember
Where the river flows close to Hall's Lane
Two Brothers called Mickey and Henry
Kept a garden, an income to gain .
* * * * *
And they worked that sweet soil to a pattern
With a graip, a long shovel and spade
'Till it looked overall like a picture
Some famous engraver had made .
* * * * *
They had carrots, leeks and red rhubard,
Spring onions and lettuce galore
And their parsley, garlic and spinach
Scented the air by the shore .
* * * * *
Now time must forever bring changes
The brothers are long laid to rest
And the garden they lovingly tended
Now is as a car-park addressed .
* * * * *

Saturday, 13 September 2008

A Little History

Local historian, Gabriel Murphy has very kindly provided EWPG with a very interesting insight in respect of the area in and around Queen Street car park. The section of the map annotated as Gallagher's Garden is now the site of both the Library and Salvation Army buildings, and also where the Halls Lane car park is located. Formerly this vegetable garden was the pride and joy of two local brothers by the name of Gallagher, and was the subject of much admiration.
The area to the left of the garden was known as the Dardanelles. This term originated after the First World War owing to the number of men from these streets who fought in the campaign. The Inland Revenue, and Housing Executive buildings, together with Queen Street car park are now situated here.
The section of the map reproduced above is taken from a 1905 Ordnance Survey map of Enniskillen, which was also provided by Mr Murphy. We thank him most sincerely for his assistance and also for his interest in our campaign.

Roads Service have been busy

EWPG may have enjoyed a break in recent months but this has not been the case with DRD Roads Service. Approximately 40 additional parking spaces have been created at Wellington Place car park as outlined in their original proposal.
Although our group welcomes the provision of extra 'free' parking spaces generally, this in no way compensates for the possible loss of the 95 spaces at Queen Street. In reality what will happen will be that there will be more workers competing for fewer 'free' spaces.
Furthermore EWPG have always maintained that Queen Street is only a pilot scheme, and that the whole future of 'free' car parking in Enniskillen is in jeopardy. We see no reason to review our stance.
It is time for the town's workers to unite in opposing Road Services plans.

Sunday, 7 September 2008

We're Back

If Roads Service thought that EWPG had gone away, or that we had lost the stomach for the battle, then we are sorry to disappoint. We had merely taken the summer off in the knowledge that we would have to intensify our efforts to preserve the present 'free' status of Queen Street car park come Autumn.
We may have enjoyed a rather leisurely couple of months but there has been nothing static about the cost of living. Fuel prices have spiralled and this in turn has had a 'knock on' effect on the cost of everything. On average the weekly shop is costing 10% more than it did this time last year. It is against this background of increasing financial hardship that DRD Roads Service is planning to introduce charges at Queen Street (the workers' car park).
Consequently, quitting is not an option for our Group and we would encourage you to lend your support to our efforts. We are re-energised and together we can resist this outrageous and ill-timed proposal. Get involved, or pay the price (in this case £2.70 per day at current rates).