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Guildford Labour member Mary Davies offers a poem on the anxiety of growing inequality in Britain

The Age Of Insecurity (For Some)

 

Now is the era of the insecure job,

Economic disasters are workers darkest fears.

Zero hours contracts and stagnant wages rob

Families of hope and well-being for many years.

 

4.5 million self-employed, scratch out

A living, for times are getting hard

For some, not all. Just look about

London to see homage to wealth, the Shard.

 

Work place flexibility works for the bosses.

Not for frightened families who cope with the shame

Of diminishing income, amongst other losses.

Let’s face it, global capitalism is to blame.

 

Despite it all, profit must come first

Rising anxiety, families feel the pain.

For many young people the bubble has burst,

So that the top 1%, as always gain.

 

Mary Davies 2014

The Age of Insecurity

Guildford Labour member Mary Davies offers a poem on the anxiety of growing inequality in Britain

Richard at The Boileroom

This small independent music venue is under threat. Richard Wilson explains the situation and offers support.

Save The Boileroom

By Richard Wilson, Labour PPC Guildford

 

Yesterday, along with community activist Alex Wilks, I had the chance to look round The Boileroom, a small independent music venue in Guildford which is threatened with closure. The owner, Dominique Frazer, introduced us to the dedicated staff and showed us how they try to live in harmony with their neighbours.

 

The Boileroom

I had heard about the threat to The Boileroom from friends on Facebook and through the local newspaper’s website. There is a massively popular petition to keep the venue open.

There are no other venues in Guildford, and very few in the South East, which provide opportunities for local aspiring independent musicians to develop their talent and play alongside more established acts. The Boileroom pays local bands to perform and is credited by the Musicians’ Union as being a vital part of the live music industry. The Boileroom is hosting the launch event for the Guildford Fringe next week. They put on events for schools, train future music industry staff and succeed despite their more commercial rivals receiving public money as subsidies. They have even won an award from the Noise Abatement Society!

Unfortunately, new neighbours arrived in the next-door house about 18 months ago and they are having a speculative attempt at closing the venue down.

One of the reasons given is that they are disturbed by noise from the venue. We had a demonstration of the sound-proofing yesterday. Inside, some very loud music was played on the speakers. We went outside, through heavy double-doors and it was almost inaudible right outside the door. In fact, the traffic on York Road is far louder and sometimes we had to wait for it to die down to be heard when talking. These doors do not allow enough sound through to be a nuisance. There is a locking system which prevents one door opening until the other one is closed, therefore it is impossible for both double-doors to be open at the same time. It was suggested to me that perhaps windows might be opened if it was too hot inside. However, none of the windows in the noise-protected part of the building open and there is powerful air conditioning so that is not necessary.

The list of alleged breaches of the licence seems to comprise smears and unprovable anecdotes. The suggestions of harm to children are totally made up. The complainants claim that there have been “allegations” that the venue was overcapacity when running an event for schoolchildren. There were no such allegations. Also, the claim that parents have difficulty crossing the road is untrue and the local school confirm this.

The Boileroom is a valued community hub. I spoke to a passing neighbour when we were outside on the pavement. He confirmed that Dominique and her team do everything possible to live in harmony with nearby residents. The huge number of signatures collected on their petition already shows what a strong following they have. It is a shame that the local LibDem councillor has not taken up the invitation, like we did, to look round the venue and see what a fantastic asset it is to the community.

It is very disappointing that someone could launch this speculative application to review the licence and cause so much heart-ache to so many people. Regular readers of my personal blog will be reminded of the fight to gain planning permission for the Terry Jayne School of Dance in Lightwater. The Taleban try to stamp out singing and music, let’s stand up against their equivalent in Guildford!

Save the Boileroom!

Save The Boileroom

This small independent music venue is under threat. Richard Wilson explains the situation and offers support.

Sub Standard Trains

The final day of this year’s Royal Ascot race meeting is tomorrow. If you are planning to travel there by train from Guildford via Aldershot there is something you might want to know about:

South West Trains have replaced the usual rolling stock with sub-standard, old, worn-out carriages with no toilets! Private Train Operating Company, SWT say they recognise the need for toilet facilities on the 62 minute journey but they haven’t invested in new trains fast enough.

Travellers in Surrey are used to being forced to settle for second best, on the roads, rails and cycle routes, but this move is degrading for passengers. People tell me they work hard for a living and a trip to the races on Saturday is a small treat that they deserve. Now, the journey home could ruin the whole day. I won’t spell out what the lack of toilet facilities could mean in terms of discomfort and embarrassment.

Come on, South West Trains, if you don’t want to be known as Sub Standard Trains, give us our usual trains back!

Grubby old trains with no toilets on Guildford-Ascot line

The final day of this year’s Royal Ascot race meeting is tomorrow. If you are planning to travel there by train from Guildford via Aldershot there is something you might...

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