Posted by Joseph
Grumble grumble moan moan. I think its all rather nice. I think it'll look nicer when its done, but I'd rather wait until its finished before deciding. I think its great a local figure like Mike has done the work. I think its a bit dodgy to suggest that there is anything funny in him getting the commission, with yet another local persons reputation being trashed on our website in the process.
I'm really grateful to the council(s) for investing monies in making our little town a nicer place to live. For putting the effort in, for sorting out the plans, for working so hard on it in the face of all of the grumblers.
Whats the perspective of our local councillors on all of this? You are the ones who have the best insight into the planning and commissioning of these works, so whats your view?
From Danny Thompson
Having moved away many years ago (although with regular visits to family) I've been following this debate from a distance. Surely local people learned of the sundial/standing stones before they were installed? I can't believe that for such a scheme, in such a place, there was no consultation and/or competition, no public invitation to tender, and no planning process.
Three years ago, following the semi-pedestrianisation of the centre of Blandford in Dorset (near where I live), there was a competition to design a new market cross. There were 200 entries, and the winner was chosen by a public vote following an exhibition. Ultimately the whole venture was refused planning permission for very valid reasons, and the town continues to survive without a market cross - as it has since the Great Fire of 1731.
I'm not commenting on whether the installations in St George's Square are good, bad or indifferent - I won't see them until I visit HB in a couple of weeks. But can anyone clarify whether or not they formed part of the proposal on which local people were invited to comment?
I'm a member of the Upper Valley Action Group comprising, Police, Local Councillors, Youth Workers, Calderdale Safer Communities, Town Planners, Park Rangers etc. The idea is to discuss town issues and be able to make effective decisions as all relevant parties in the room.
There's been many discussions relevant to the sundial, but I have never heard the stones mentioned once!
Next meeting is on 7th November where I'll be asking local and calderdale councillors about the consultation and tender process.
I know at least one councillor didn't want the gnomon, and would have preferred to use the money to resurface Central Street instead.
The first artists impression was posted on lamp posts, in the paper and on this web site.
Looks quite different in reality!
I thought St George's Square was going to look like the photo that Oscar put a link on for. When I looked at the photo's that were in the van for consultation on the car park near St. Georges Square they had 1 photo with trees and 1 photo without trees. I didn't see a photo with a sundial and stone effigies on. So I get the feeling we were not actually consulted on the sun dial and effergies.
I don't mind the Stone Effigies I actually quite like them. I don't feel they actually stop the square from being used. I do feel that the knife on the sundial will stop us using it for things like the carol concert.
I have a feeling it will be too late to stop the sundial as they have half done the paving stones now.
The word, "Effigies," can I claim credit for that ;)
My own personal beef is not against the big, stone, hard, sticky-up things themselves (to my knowledge they are already bought and paid for on our behalf.)
Rather I dislike the arrogance of a local government that will make a token show of seeking our approval; then proceed to build something totally different, while loudly proclaiming its "public mandate."
A prime example being the sham consultation over traffic flow and pay and display...
Where car use and parking are concerned, apparently my views are worthless because I don't live in Hebden Bridge (Mytholm steeps actually). As such my opinions can justifiably be disregarded when it comes to such high profile projects in my home town?!
I draw my own opinions from the fact that there is a massive hill between my home and the town centre. My belief is, it would be politically unfortunate, in a so-called consultation, to hear from someone for whom public transport is worthless and for whom "walking to the bus stop" means half a mile of a gradient of one in five.
When it comes to the town centre, my opinions have already been disregarded as worthless, in terms of a project which has already cost me dearly in terms of minor transgressions.
For example: 10 minutes overstay on a weekly shopping trip? £50 fine to me!! (That's the price I paid for supoprting local businesses.)
Contrast that with £0 for doing my weekly shop at Morrisons and spending a risk-free hour or more in their cafe. Tell me again why I should support my local shops?!?!
My gut feeling is, there will come a point where the local government "Vision" of Hebden Bridge bears no relation to my needs as a resident. What should I do then? Bugger off to Leeds or Manchester to make way for someone richer than me? I honestly have no idea as to the sort of person Hebden Bridge wants as its "Ideal" resident. All I see is new ways of exploiting non-residents at the expense of local people.
Where do I fit in?
I just wanted to draw attention to the news item on this site in which Mike Williams, creator of the stone effigies, defends himself. I think some people have been too quick to judge, but given time I hope that most people will be proud of them and the fact that they were created by a local artist with a long history of being involved in the sculpture trail, the Arts Festival and many other community projects. They look pretty interesting to me and I look forward to seeing the next four and working out what all the inscriptions mean.
However, this doesn't mean that I agree with the process that has lead here - the lack of information and public consultation about the use of this important central space reflects very badly indeed on the council, and on the Hebdenroyd Partnership.
Shame about the "sculptures"! I'm sure a competition open to the many local artists could have come up with something a lot better. The current ones are lumpen and crass, and a town with the sensibilities of Hebden should exhibit more discrimination.
From Andy Mackintosh
I didn't particularly like them at first but, its a funny thing, the more subjective 'critiques' I read, the more I like them!