I watched the discussion on Police Chat this afternoon just because I wanted to know what it was all about.

I am still disappointed that Warwickshire Police don't appear to be participating. 

However I did have a breakthrough and found that the Warwickshire Police Authority are actually tucked away on Twitter and Face book but they are a bit shy in coming forward and its not quite the same as having people on the coal face Tweeting.

Of course the argument quite rightly is the Police should be Policing and not spending time Tweeting.

However if you really break it down the job of the Police is to prevent crime and solve crime as quickly as possible. Of course with limited resources its getting harder and harder to do. Like the rest of us a Police Person can only be in one place at one time.

So what has social media got to do with it all? Whether we like it or not social media is a part of our times and it is a way of reaching many people Free Of Charge and at the click of a button.

Social Media is available on many mobile phones which many people carry with them. Just imagine at the press of a button and a quick Tweet you could have doubled your eyes and ears in any given area. You start interacting with your community and your community start interacting back.

I really do think Social Media can be of help to any of our Public Services. It is quite simply a different way of reaching the General Public and informing them, making them aware and involving them.


As for the discussion this afternoon these are my thoughts as a member of the public.

  1. How is social media changing the management of communication around Events.
    a) For those organising such events the message reaches 1000's for good or bad reasons. If it for bad reasons then the Police need to be able to recognise it and prevent it. There is only one way to do that! There should be a cyber presence.

  2. What elements can be harnessed to benefit the policing?
    a) Short timley updates
    b) Keep the innocent public updated and out of the way (Giving them the opportunity to make Informed decisions)
    c) The only way to do that is via a Cyber presence
    d) Photography
    e) Videos
  1. Should the concerns about social media prevent police using it for large events. 
    a) I can only guess what the concerns are! I would imagine it would be     tatical type information or the possibility of being disinformed when planning tactical stuff.
    b) I doubt very much a Police Officer in the front line will have time to say to a violent protester. Stop what your doing let me Tweet it via my mobile phone.
    c) Therefore what ever the concerns are about Social Media being used for such events they should be taken seriously.
    d) I don't think Police should be prevented from using Social Media at such events however should Social Media be used there should be a lock down on what information is given on the Social Channels.


    Would you expect HM Forces to Tweet their next tactical move in what ever campaign? Like hell would I. I don't expect it from our Police Force either. What I do expect is the ability for people in charge to be accountable for their decisions if ever they should be asked

  2. How does the operational and communication use work together? 
    a) I could not possibly answer as I haven't got anything to do with any Police Force. Except to be a resident of a Police Forces area that don't participate are very formal and authoritarian when the do occasionally appear on line.





Police Chat takes place on Thursday 31 March at 1pm.

This week we are considering the impact of social media on the policing of protests, events and major operations.Many forces have used social media including Twitter and Facebook when preparing and running major events. This can be either as an operational requirement or to communicate the activity. In some cases it may be about allowing the media into control rooms to do the
tweeting or updates.In light of the events at the weekend and the Metropolitan Police use of social media we can
look at:

1. How is social media changing the management of communication around Events?
2. What elements can be harnessed to benefit the policing?
3. Should the concerns about social media prevent police using it for large events or protests?
4. How does the operational and communication use work together?


http://twitter.com/pol_chat#
I am actually finding my blog quite therapeutic as I have said before I can type away until my heart is content. 


Anyway since my blogging has captured my imagination kept me quiet and allowed me to ramble away to myself and the odd visitor here and there alongside keeping up to date with Twitter. 


I can't help but think Earlswood and Forshaw Heath are lacking a bit in the blogging and twitter stakes. I am not talking about our Parish Council or Residents Association.


I am talking about just normal people. I have found one blog Birds Of Earlswood (Feathered Variety) other than my own.

Memo to ones self (I must improve my google techniques) perhaps we are all just a bit shy and don't like scribbling in public. Perhaps we just haven't got anything to say at all.

Whilst Twittering I follow all those surrounding Councils, Police Forces, local business and services and have learnt quite a lot.

I must say I am very impressed with West Midlands Police. The timely updates and watch messages from Solihull and others are quite useful. London Midland just with a bit of Tweeting put one of my gripes right (I suspect a lot of other people complained as well) but I got a response almost instantly and have not been witness to struggling and getting crushed since.

I am however really disappointed that our Local Police appear not to be using social media and as far as I can see appear not to have updated their watch messages since the beginning of February. If they are I really have missed it and apologise and hope someone can point me in the right direction.


The way I see it is the quicker a watch message gets out the more chance of the general public being able to assist is likely. 


I was really impressed when Solihull Council acknowledged my gripe about the road works at Earlswood Station earlier this week even when I did make a fool of my self I was disappointed that Stratford District didn't.


To me it seems Warwickshire have a little way to go before catching up with the West Midlands.

Good God I heard a new pharse on Twitter Hyperlocal. I don't know if I am Hyperlocal :o)


But West Midlands Police are thinking of better ways to work with Hyperlocal see recent long Tweet

http://www.solihulluk.co.uk/historydetail.php?id=28903&cid=592&f=Solihull


http://www.countrysidebooks.co.uk/


Forshaw Heath, just one and a half miles long and roughly one and a quarter miles wide, has had a very tranquil history. 


It was in existence in the 9th century, when it was known as Foxshawe, the place of foxes. Foxshawe came within the influence of Solihull and the owner of a large moated house paid one penny a year as a tithe. The remains of the moat are still to be seen - a muddy waterway in the middle of a field. 

Solihull's interest declined and Forshaw Heath, as it was now called, became part of the domain of Stratford-on-Avon and remains so to this day. There has been little turbulence known in the district. 

The other large house is Forshaw Park Farm, a very beautiful, well restored place which has been occupied since 1624. The house together with its huge barn are now listed buildings. In the 1930s it was occupied by a very eccentric character named Harry Seager. He lived and worked nights and slept in the day in a dreadful old chair. He never went upstairs. He wandered about the district on his old horse, Dolly, but he was a wonderful naturalist. 

Harry had a theory that at one time the sea reached Forshaw and the only hill, BiddIes Hill', is really a cliff. He had a huge collection of sea shells, which he had gathered locally to reinforce his ideas. Shells can still be found in the woods. 

These woods are part of the Forest of Arden. They are very lovely in the spring with bluebells, lilies of the valley, marigolds and foxgloves. There is also a very fine sweet chestnut tree. The Turkey oak also here, is said to be hundreds of years old.

This is our quiet Forshaw. Heath, at least it still is, but 'times a changing', now that we have the M42 on our doorstep. 


NB
The village information above is taken from The West Midlands Village Book, written by members of the West Midlands Federation of Women's Institutes and published by Countryside Books. 


http://www.countrysidebooks.co.uk/

Try broadband speed test

They tell me it's because I live quite a way from the Earlswood exchange however I am beginning to get fed up of that excuse as I look at peoples speed that live a few hundred yards away and to be honest they on the whole haven't got all that much better speeds than myself.


I suspect it's something to do with many of the community dwellers are Silver Surfers (Not that I am that far off my self) people know no better and there aren't enough complaints to warrant upgrading or improving the Earlswood exchange. 


The slower speed becomes the norm and acceptable and now we end up paying more for less.


Now here is the thing as I said earlier 2.5 MB is quite acceptable for my self and my surfing but how hacked off would I have been if I knew no better and had got drawn into the expensive BT TV package and I just wonder how many people have!


Once again its all about giving the least possible for the most profit and offering substandard services. I don't mind paying for quality services at a higher premium what I do mind is substandard services being sold at premium rates and then for the substandard service to become the normal standard.


All done with the little word UP-TO
I can't believe it a week of beautiful sunshine and warmth and what happens? come the weekend the heating is back on the fleece is back out and I am cold. Just to make me feel better I yet again decided to change the blog just to make me feel better and warmer. I had so many plans for the garden as well. Never mind
BBC News reported on 8 February 2011 that the Ministry of Defence had announced the sale of Invincible to Leyal Ship Recycling in Turkey. Her hulk was towed from Portsmouth to Turkey on Thursday 24 March 2011 to be broken up.


How very sad is that?

Surely in this day and age we could think of a better use! other than scrap.


Daft ideas below.

  • Housing (How cool to have the address HMS Invincible
  • Floating Prison Just call it HMP Invincible instead of HMS (Save the tax payer and the environment building another prison)
It is to late now it has gone been sold on an E-bay type site and on its way to Turkey.


I have a question if the Turkish can buy it for scrap, they wouldn't have done so without thinking they could make money. Why didn't the British scrap it and make money.


I am so so confused and really begin to wonder what will happen to the ARK Royal.


Oh well another bit of British History scrapped!


For quite a while there has been a leak on the bridge at Earlswood Station during the cold weather I could have done with Ice Skates to cross the bridge and get to the footpath.

It was very dangerous especially when at one point it seeped onto the road and froze.

Anyway at long last something appears to be happening to solve the leak which is really good news.


However I am perplexed, traffic lights  appeared a few days ago alongside a hole  being dug as if by magic they appeared.


All week I have not seen one person working at said leak. I have been starting work later than normal and would expect to see workmen about but not once have I seen anyone starting work or preparing to go home. The work site hasn't other than the traffic lights and the hole changed. 


I would love to know what is happening
Well having had a bit of time with Firefox and Internet Explorer I have now decided to try Google Chrome. I must admit I have started to tire of Internet Explorer although I know it well I decided to leave the "better the devil I know" and go and find out what other browsers had to offer.


LOL here I am speaking a load of technical waffle, sometimes people just assume other people know what they are talking about. I knew what an internet browser was I just never knew how to explain it and thinking about it never bothered until now to try any other browser.


Anyway my reason for trying different Internet Browsers is to see if I can surf the net any quicker than Internet Explorer will allow me to and make up for BT PPP. If you don't know what PPP is suffice to say the last P is performance.

A whole new world of internet browsing. The first thing I noticed about both Chrome and Firefox was how much quicker it loaded my internet pages. Which to some extent makes up a little bit for the poor Broadband speed we all appear to have in Earlswood & Forshaw Heath. Every little bit helps.


You will need your speakers ON for this


What Is A Web Browser?



Well it's a little bit quicker but not a lot 

Why don't they sell me a package of up to 4MB I really do object to paying fo up to 8MB and not even getting half way there.


http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/blog/2008/feb/20/averageukbroadbandspeedis
Incase you didn't know an upgraded version of Firefox 4 is now available to download.

http://www.mozilla.com/en-GB/firefox/4.0/whatsnew/
I must admit I am growing to quite like Twitter with its short random updates from those I have chosen to follow. When I feel brave enough I reply or re tweet.

However due to twitter I have been alerted to another tool. Twit Cam or is that Tweet Cam I can never remember. 

Like I was trying to find a use for Twitter which has proved on 3 or 4 occasions to be informative and helpful I am now pondering on what possible use there could be for a Tweet Cam.

To all intents and purposes it appears like a normal web cam the difference being people can Tweet real time on your broadcast whilst you are broadcasting. So in short I suppose it is a revamp of video conferencing with one Twitter being filmed and their followers being able to ask questions.

How good is that! I just can't think of a use for it at the moment.

I expect I will do. I think the key to it is live,interactive, free and fun
It just goes to show how important it is to have an easily navigated website or Blog. Don't get me wrong I am no expert and can eventually find what I want.

Primarily my blog started off as a place where I could scribble away. I added a few links of interest so they were all in one place and I could get to them easily. So that's OK I can navigate my way around my own blog.

I asked my husband to navigate around just to see what he came up with. The only thing he uses the web for is BCFC web site and match dates and occasionally the BBCI Player.

He failed miserably to read my blog, He missed the local links at the top of the page, Didn't know what a word cloud was! found a broken link and then asked where all the local pubs were. If he were a visitor he would like to know where the nearest watering hole was.

I forget that sometimes some people aren't quite as used to the Internet as others. So it's back to the drawing board
Decommissioning 


http://www.defencemanagement.com/news_story.asp?id=15559

Ultimately I have become so cynical and quite simply think its about Money. Its not about protecting innocent people, its about protecting the fat cats and their financial interests.

Whilst I am at one of my mega moans why on earth do rebels that have access to their own planes need our help? 

I just don't get it. 

Well in fact perhaps I do get it! almost everything we have sent to Libya has recently been decommissioned. All we are missing is the Ark Royal.

Question is why would you plan to decommission something that is still proving useful and what would you have done if all the decommissioned stuff had been sold, or scrapped, then who would have gone to Libya?


Interesting question really!

To De-Commission

de·com·mis·sion


  • to remove or retire (a ship, airplane, etc.) from active service.
  • to deactivate; shut down: to decommission a nuclear power plant.
On what was meant to be a quick makeover I ended up getting in a total pickle with revamping my blog.

I don't know why but I decided after a few short weeks I was already bored with it and instead of curved gentle lines and water ripples wanted it straight and orderly.

I have just broken one of my own rules.

I get use to a website or a blog and curse when someone changes the layout and often wondered why they do it! Now I know the reason they get bored with the way it looks and works.

So for now welcome to my new look blog. It isn't finished but I have now got fed up with messing around, no doubt I will have another brain wave later and change it again.

Is anyone else as fedup as I am?
An Earlswood & Forshaw Heath Bod: The Earlswood Wildlife Partnership

Many thanks to the Earlswood Lakes Partnership and its volunteers see the launch of the new Tern Raft.

Video provided by  Birds Of Earlswood
The Feathered Variety




I know we haven't got many manned ticket offices left which I personally think is very sad. 

You only have to look at the sad state of some of what were once pretty welcoming stations on the way in to Stratford to realise that without these people the stations go to rack and ruin.

For the 2nd night running I noticed that the ticket office in Shirley was closed it was horrid and even at dusk was uninviting and not somewhere I wouldn't like to be by myself. 

As a Tourist on the way to Stratford I would start to worry about my expensive visit having passed so many unkempt stations so near to my holiday destination. All in the name of progress.

I would love to know where all the people who buy their daily weekly or monthly tickets from manned stations will que at rush hour when they get off at Snow Hill or Birmingham.When the Guard hasn't been able to collect fair on the Train. 

Although LM has recently improved its ticket gates or should I say the manning and opening of them when two trains arrive which I am really happy about. The next risk will be when the numerous people who couldn't buy a ticket start quing down the stairs onto the platform. 

Blimey we will all start having to get up an hour early simply to que to buy a ticket. None of us can afford to be late for work in this day and age :o(

I am thinking out aloud here nothing more- Just pondering- I suppose the argument will be used that a machine will be available for a permit to travel. Would you get your purse out on a dark unmanned station? What about the empty older buildings at some of the stations. Are we just going to board them up and leave them empty or will they just get knocked down?

TBC


LINKS ON THE TOP LINK BAR NOW MENDED
A TIDBURY Green man is fuming after a mountain of furniture was left piled up outside a neighbour’s home following a police raid.
Mark Payton said that officers had scoured the address, in Norton Lane, a fortnight ago - removing belongings from the house.
But after West Mercia Police had finished their search, carried out over several days, they left the possessions outside.
A washing machine, fridge freezer and cooker were among the household items left out on the garden.
Mr Payton branded the pile “an eyesore” and said that scrap metal merchants had already run off with some items.
This week, he called on the police to clear-up the objects and said he had contacted Environmental Health.
“I find it incredible that in this day and age, the police or council can’t move this mess,” said the 50-year-old.
“When the police were searching the house we were friendly and made them cups of tea, now they’ve left us with this.”
Solihull Council said it was “an unusual case” and that responsibility to clear-up would usually lie with the homeowner.
But with the property now empty, they’ve asked police to move the objects and will be monitoring the situation.
Some of the belongings were put in a skip last week, but this has not been removed and some rubbish is still strewn on the ground.
The address was searched as part of a police investigation - a 64-year-old, from Solihull, has been charged with firearms offences.
A West Mercia Police spokeswoman was unable to confirm when the items would be moved.
As I made time to have a little whinge a few days ago about LM and the exit problems at Snow Hill when two trains arrived together and how dangerous it was when the electronic gates were not opened quickly enough, resrticting people from leaving the Station.

Having tweeted London Midland and making them aware of my concerns not only did I have a quick response via Twitter. I also enountered once again two trains disembarking at the same time however this time the gates were open and there did not appear to be any problems in exiting the station.

I don't know if it was my tweet or lots of other complaints. I don't really mind which ever way something was done about it. Lets just hope it continues



http://www.redditchadvertiser.co.uk/news/8897826.Wythall_car_trader_prosecuted_for__clocked__and_unroadworthy_vehicles/

SUCCESSFUL prosecutions have recently been brought against a Wythall car trader by Worcestershire Regulatory Services for offences relating to vehicles which were unroadworthy or “clocked”.
In January 2010 Christopher Davis, trading as Portway Motor Centre, sold a Porsche 944. Prior to its sale the purchaser was told that it was in excellent condition, however, a subsequent examination revealed the bodywork to be so badly corroded that it was too dangerous to drive.
In October 2009, Portway Motor Centre advertised a Toyota Celica for sale on the Ebay website. The advertisement stated that the vehicle had covered 86,000 miles and on this basis it was sold to a Worcestershire resident. When the new owner decided to sell the car he discovered that the mileage had been reduced by 34,000 prior to its purchase.
In March 2010, a BMW 323i was similarly advertised and sold with an indicated mileage of 109,000 miles. Following problems encountered with the car by the new owner, investigations revealed that three years previously the car had lost 70,000 miles.
On both occasions Portway Motors had failed to carry out the necessary checks to discover the discrepancies.
Invoices for the sale of all three vehicles indicated that it was the purchasers responsibility for correcting any faults and the business relied on this clause in order to avoid carrying out their legal obligations in relation to vehicle defects.
On February 28 at Worcester Crown Court, Davis was fined £1,500 with costs and compensation amounting to £2,850 for three offences under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations.
Davis had previously been ordered to pay a fine and costs amounting to £1,921 on November 30, 2010, by Worcester Magistrates, for an offence under the Road Traffic Act with regard to the sale of the Porsche.
Head of Worcestershire Regulatory Services, Steve Jorden, said: "The penalties imposed by both courts serve as a warning to all car traders. They have a duty to trade fairly and ensure that customers are not misled or put at risk.”
Anyone who wishes to make a complaint about a vehicle they have recently purchased should telephone Consumer Direct on 08454 040506.
http://www.waterscape.com/features-and-articles/news/3015/good-tern-from-wildlife-enthusiasts

British Waterways has teamed up with a local wildlife group near Solihull to improve facilities for visiting terns on Earlswood Lakes.
A British Waterways ecologist will work alongside Earlswood Wildlife Partnership to install a tern raft at Terry Pool on Monday 14 March. The location may be just a thirty-minute drive from a major Midlands city, but it’s also popular with a variety of wildlife, including common terns, which spend the summer in Africa and come to the UK to breed each April. Although seabirds, terns often venture inland to build their nests on islands safe from predators and tern rafts provide an ideal artificial breeding habitat.
Earlswood Wildlife Partnership identified the requirement for a tern raft after several seasons of common terns visiting the Earlswood lakes but not having anywhere to nest. The partnership has worked hard on the island and this is just part of a wider project, with the Warwickshire Wildlife Trust securing £13,800 from the Nineveh Charitable Trust for work including creating a bat monitoring scheme and installing bird boxes.
Important wetland area
The lakes are an important wetland area home to a wide range of bird life and waterfowl, something British Waterways ecologist Paul Wilkinson, who will be helping on the day, is keen to maintain.
Paul said: “Earlswood Wildlife Partnership has done great work to enhance the appeal of Earlswood Lakes for wildlife and this is a great community project demonstrating what groups of enthusiastic people can achieve. Common terns are very specific regarding their nesting sites, preferring bare areas that have no disturbance from people and are isolated from land predators such as foxes and stoats. Hopefully this project can encourage a pair of terns to stay and rear a family.”
As I watch the terrifying media footage of the earthquake followed by the tsunami and now the nuclear power plant explosion in Japan. I can't help but feel for all of those people.

Obviously it stands to reason everyone will be moved and saddened by such a chain of events and the death and destruction left in its wake. I feel the earth will always fight back no matter what, history shows the earth has always suffered from natural disasters.

Here is a thought are we Humans the root cause of creating what appears to be disaster after disaster in short periods of time?

I am no expert and I don't know if they used to happen as frequently as they appear to now or whether the fast moving progress of the human race is so fast and needy the earth just can't keep up with us.

As we drill for its oil, chop its rain forests down dig holes, build and use all its resources, it can't possible replenish itself quickly enough to continue providing for us.

We don't give it enough time to heal perhaps we are all just to greedy and rely to much on our plastic throw away society.

I am really beginning to think Mother Earth is fighting back and reminding us who actually is the boss and that she deserves a bit of respect and looking after from us the Human Race and we need to stop taking earth and its resources for granted


Regards
Bod
Today Dad and I had a real Daughter Father discussion.

It actually turns out we don't actually think much differently to each other. A friend of his out of the blue quite simply said the country is Fked (excuse language)

In any case it started a conversation about fuel prices and some of the ramifications it will or could have in the future. Lets talk Food!

  • Small hauliers will go out of business not be able to afford to deliver
  • Large hauliers will put their costs up
  • Supermarkets will put their price up to reflect the cost of delivery
  • Car owners won't be able to get to out of town to shop(they wont be able to afford it) The petrol that is.
  • There won't be any public transport to get them there because of cuts

I know lets reinvent the wheel!

Lets all open up local shops with local food, reinvent our farms and support our local shops, You know the ones Local Butcher, Local Grocery, Local Baker, Local Post Office, Local Business. All the things that have closed in the name of progress.

The trouble is Britain dosen't make anything any more or very little we have very little to sell to anyone else.

We to all intents and purposes are a nation of servicing each other Industry.

If we no longer produce anything or make anything to export how on earth do we get out of the pickle we are all in. As a Nation we produce very little to sell

I asked Dad? Whats your solution he didn't know.

I asked myself what would be my solution? I didn't think I would have an answer but after a bit of digging around in the old Grey cells I do.

Become a self sufficient nation and don't rely on any other country for our Nation to survive.
Today I had time to watch and listen to Stratford District Councils online planning meeting. I have to say it was sort of an eye opener but I really do think broadcasting it was the right thing to do.

Not many of us can attend or support or object to many of the things that happen in our Local Communities simply because they previously haven't been accessible we don't know about them or it just passes us by until it affects us.

I tell a lie yes they are accessible if you can't attend you can always read ,as these things are a matter of public record. There is nothing like actually being there to support or object an application, nothing can ever replace that.

There is something near to it - being there virtually. I really think what SDC by streaming broadcasting their planning meeting was a huge step forward in people becoming accountable and responsible for their decisions, plus the General Public being given the opportunity to start to understand what actually goes on.

As some of you know one of the things that makes me happy (Happy Survey) is accountability and responsibility. SDC or the planning committee became accountable and responsible, as did our Local representatives.

I personally think every planning meeting should be broadcast.

On a footnote most of all those people attending that planning meeting may be elected representatives of a Local Community. 

The District councilor,'s may well get mileage paid. They all do it in their own time.

The Big Society already exists and the foundations are there, they always have been. From helping a neighbor, to helping a resident, to helping a Parish, to helping a District, to helping a County to helping the Country. The infrastructure is already there. Its just that not many people take any notice of it any more.
  • Because they don't understand
  • Because they don't care
  • Because they don't think they can make a difference

What category do I fall under? 
  • I do understand
  • I care very much
  • Lets leave it there!
I have decided today I am not going to moan about anything. The sun is shining the birds are singing and guess who has a day off work.

The Dog is soaking up the sunshine in the garden he has made himself very comfortable on the garden bench. Well I suppose that's better than soaking wet and muddy after a walk in the woods,  I don't have the muddy foot prints to worry about. Then again if I am totally honest with myself I don't really worry about the muddy foot prints. I am not exactly the worlds best domestic goddess.

In-fact one day last year or should I say over the period of at least a couple of days I decided to join the rest of the human race and have a Spring clean. I threw so much stuff out it was unbelievable then I promptly washed everything even if it wasn't washing and to top it all iron it all. I was so proud of myself even the OH thought I had a brain transplant. How disappointed was I when I go to get stuff ready for work all organised and I find I have to iron it all again. I learn t my lesson Iron only on a needs must basis because as soon as you plonk it in a draw or a cupboard the creases breed.

Having said that I used to get really hacked off with the washing machine taking what felt like hours. I have a new washing machine that has a fantastic 30 min cycle on it. I just love it. It all becomes so much easier quick and manageable.

I have thought a lot about my Mom today well I think about her every day in one way or another and often wonder what she would have made of the internet. Well I know the answer really there was never any stopping of my Mom in anything she did. She commandeered my first computer a little 186 Tandy machine which was prior to the internet times, she used it more than I ever did. What would she have thought of the Internet and Twitter OMG there would have been no stopping her. Any way I digress.

A day of quiet reflection :o)
Some of those people that were reading yesterday may of read me moan about the exit of Snow Hill station and how dangerous it is when two commuter trains arrive together and passengers try to leave the station at the same time.

Yesterday I found myself stuck at the top of a moving escalator with no way forward and no way backward because the electronic gates weren't letting the flow of passengers out quickly enough. It is not the first time it has happened to me.

I decided to put my new found piece of technology to use and Twitter London Midland with my concerns.

I was actually pleasantly surprised to get a Tweet back at all asking me what I thought the solution was!

Solution 1

Instead of keeping the gates closed for the early morning commuters putting them in danger leave them open and then try closing them after 10am until 15:30hrs. I notice when I get to work late or leave early there is no one around and the gates are open.

Solution 2

Move the gates to the Glass door exit, Block up the current ticket office and knock a hole in the wall facing the car park exit door (So as people can pay to get on at Snow Hill if needed) and so as there is more room for when two trains do arrive together giving passengers more room to maneuver.

Solution 3

Keep the gates open until the new platform exits are finished and usable by the general public and then see how the electronic gates cope with the passenger flow.

Your staff are manning electronic gates instead of checking the tickets like the used to. What is the point of paying for the gates and leaving the staff in place.

Let the hoards of people at commuter time walk freely and safely with your staff checking tickets. Help your Business during the off peak times when fewer people get off the train and the space can cope with it close the gates.

Who do you think will avoid payment? Those going to work with weekly,monthly or annual passes or those who know they can because the gates are open and there is no one there to check tickets?

Foot Note

I have now offered 3 possible solutions. All of which should have been considered prior to putting the gates into operation.

As far as I am concerned Snow Hill Station Exit is a hazard as it is.


Here we are on the 2nd day of Spring and I feel like I have been blasted back into the depths of winter. Last Wednesday it was warm enough (just) to wear a T Shirt comfortably this evening I was scratching around for some gloves.

Anyway today I started to get annoyed with London Midland again. For those of you that aren't aware at Snow Hill station they have introduced electronic gates where you pop your ticket in and the machine spits it out and opens the gate at the same time. 

The trouble is there don't appear to be enough gates for people to flow through easily and the space between the gates and the escalators is questionable especially when two trains arrive together. 

This is what happens people can't get through the gates quick enough and we all get packed together like sardines with people trying to get off the moving escalators. 

I happened to be at the top of the escalators this morning and had nowhere to go. How the hell this isn't seen as a H&S issue I don't know. There is going to be a nasty accident one day where someone gets hurt. 

Its not the first time it has happened and I don't expect it will be the last.

The Ministry of Defence says the first wave of redundancies in the armed forces will be made in September.
The MoD must make 11,000 job cuts and the RAF is the first service to set out where its share of 2,700 will begin.
Those on operations in Afghanistan in September will be exempt, but troops due back in April could lose their jobs, it has been announced.
The government says the cuts are necessary, but Labour says the handling of the news has been amateurish.
The armed forces are looking to shed 17,000 posts over the next four years as defence spending is cut.
A review has found that, after natural wastage, a total of 11,000 redundancies will have to be made in three or four tranches.
The RAF is the first service to set out details of its plans, with the first 1,020 jobs due to go in September.
Disbanded
Up to 170 trainee pilots will be made redundant, although the RAF says no qualified pilots will be affected.
Another 100 posts will go from the Weapons System Officers Branch, 100 from the Weapons System Operator Trade, along with 529 ground staff.

Squadron

Two Tornado squadrons will be disbanded - 14  based at Lossiemouth in Moray, and XIII Squadron from Marham in Norfolk.
Their personnel will not automatically be made redundant. In the short term they will be found other jobs, probably in different locations.
Prime Minister David Cameron has defended the government's plans for cuts to the armed forces.
Speaking at a Downing Street news conference, Mr Cameron said "incredibly difficult" decisions had to be made, but that the government had inherited a defence budget that had been overspent by £38bn.
"We did not take any of these decisions lightly," he said, "and they will have a difficult impact on the people involved in the RAF, the Navy and the Army and their families, and we will do everything we can to help them. But it is right to make the decision."
Returning personnel
He added that, at the end of the process, the UK would still have the fourth largest defence budget in the world.
In September, servicemen and women who are on operations - or in training to be deployed, or recovering from a mission - will not face compulsory redundancy.
However, those currently serving in Afghanistan and due to return home in April will be considered.
Shadow defence secretary Jim Murphy said personnel currently serving in Afghanistan should not return to the threat of redundancy.
"I've asked the government for assurances that no-one currently serving in Afghanistan would be made compulsorily redundant when they returned, the government gave assurances that that would not happen, I believed their assurances," he said.
"Today again they have to give 100% commitment that anyone - any man or woman - serving in our armed forces in Afghanistan today will not be sacked upon their return."
Mr Murphy added: "It's remarkable that in the week when the prime minister and the government are talking about a no-fly zone over Libya, amid all the turmoil that's happening there, they now turn their attention to our own RAF and sack so many trainee pilots."
The Army is looking to cut 5,000 jobs and the Royal Navy 3,300. They will set out their fields for redundancy on 4 April.