The shadowy and publicity-shy organisation – which set up a series of varnished wooden “Suggestion Boxes” around Penarth last year – is to reveal the submissions which have been “posted” by the public in them next weekend.
The contents of the boxes are to be displayed at a special public viewing at Foxy’s restaurant and delicatessen on Victoria Road on Friday February 26th from 19:00 to 21:00.
A poster advertising the event says a total of six boxes were installed around the town – although as some of them appeared to have been moved around during the “consultation” it’s difficult to verify the figure.
The boxes – designed like a letter box – were well-constructed in plywood, built to withstand the weather and most had a captive ballpoint pen – like the ones in banks – and a pad of paper attached to capture any fleeting inspiration passers-by might have had.
Some boxes were attached or chained to railings alongside main roads. One was located the Esplanade, another outside the Library and another location was Railway Path at the Alberta Place gateway.
The Penarth Town Council’s Momentum Group – a group made up of non-councillors developing ideas for the future of Penarth – denied that the suggestion boxes were anything to do with its members.
The poster advertising next weekend’s “viewing” does not state:-
- Who organised the campaign.
- What the motivation for the campaign is.
- Who paid for it all.
Some of the “suggestions” submitted have already been declared – including what many people might regard as a suspiciously large number (comprising 10% of all suggestions received) from “children” – all apparently pleading for the installation of a concrete skateboard park in the Paget Road Play Area.
The Skateboard Park is part of the Vale Council scheme which gave rise to so much opposition from local residents that the council had to reconsider its plans. (See PDN http://tinyurl.com/hzr3dbs).
Out of a total of 440 suggestions received in the suggestion boxes , no fewer than 43 were from “children” asking for the controversial and heavily criticised concrete skateboard park project to go ahead. The scheme would turn what up to now has been a children’s play area into a “mixed use” facility for adults and children.
As the vast majority of the submissions do not bear full names and addresses, none of the suggestions can be verified as genuine – and there is no way in which the exercise can be accepted as any true test of public opinion.
None of the suggestion boxes bore any reference as to who was responsible for the initiative and what the objective of the exercise was .
The boxes also bore slogans such as “Warning good suggestions may be implemented” and ” because we’ve run out of good ideas “.
The chained ballpoint pens and the pads did bear two clues. One was a Twitter symbol and the wording “#suggestionbox20” and the other a camera symbol and “@suggestionbox20”.
The Twitter site https://twitter.com/suggestionbox20 gives further summaries of the suggestions received. Ten of the “tweets” at this address highlight the call for the Skateboard Park – or, as they all call it – “Skate Park” .
On Friday February 26th Penarth may know a little more about the suggestions – and perhaps more intriguingly about who, and what, is really behind it all.