Community feels ignored on town centre plan

Community feels ignored on town centre plan

As a participant in the current debate about the plans for imminent changes to Camden's town centre, I can't help but reflect on the swift and secretive manner in which council's former, highly regarded general manager was dispatched by mayor Lara Symkowiak in November 2012, with the support of fellow Liberal councillors.

Residents and ratepayers were treated disdainfully when explanations for this costly exercise were sought and this has not been forgotten.

Trust was eroded and it has never been regained.

Now, while the council is asking us to trust that they've made the right decisions in relation to sweeping changes to Oxley and Argyle streets, councillors can hardly be surprised by a widespread feeling in the community that we're being patronised, underestimated and ignored.

Of course, our ultimate power will be exercised when we vote for a new council next year.

Sadly, that will be too late to avoid the blight on the landscape and traffic chaos that seems likely to follow the construction of a multi-decked car park in Oxley Street, among other "improvements".

Kay Scarlett, Camden

Traffic bypass option

Has having some traffic bypass Camden — so Argyle Street could be preserved — been considered?

This would save the jacarandas and there would be no need for lights.

They could continue Exeter Street around the back to the pool, showground and the tennis courts to make a main intersection at the Caltex Garage on Cawdor Road. This road could be closed during the Camden Show. A tree-lined street would shield the equestrian centre.

This would not take away business from the main street, it would take the trucks and traffic that are in a hurry out of town, and make it safer for shoppers and pedestrians.

Ray French, Razorback

Cheaper alternative

That old chestnut just keeps coming back. Here's a solution:

1. Three-hour parking in the CBD of Camden. Patrol it. Issue fines.

2. All-day parking at the showground. Pave/mark out more spaces. Employ security to patrol it.

All this would be much cheaper than a multi-decked car park. That long walk back into town from the show ground would do us all some good.

Phillip Dunshea, Camden

Speeding imperils others

Why is it that when the traffic on Narellan Road is bumper-to- bumper cars, and more so, buses insist on travelling down the emergency lane?

On Thursday, April 2 at 3.15pm I was stuck in traffic on Narellan Road with all three lanes blocked between Hartley Road and Tramway when I noticed a bus go past me in the emergency lane with his left blinker on.

At first I thought he was pulling over; however, he travelled the entire length from traffic light to traffic light stopping in the bus lane at Tramway to get across the intersection first.

All this was caught on my dashcam.

It's bad enough that most cars insist on speeding not 5km/h but at least 10km/h or more over the speed limit.

Why do we have these rules when it seems very few people obey them?

Are you really in that much of a hurry that you have to risk other lives as well as your own?

The problem is as soon as they see a police car they slow down then once out of sight they speed back up again.

When will people ever learn that you are not going to get there any faster than the person who is sticking to the speed limit?

Speeding in car parks and built-up areas is another issue which needs to be addressed; however, once again people do not seem to care until it is too late.

What is your hurry that you can't slow down and smell the roses?

So are we waiting for something serious to happen before we wake up?

It's only 10km/h in parking areas not 40km/h or more that you can't stop if someone walks out in front of you.

I know that people's mentality is not going to change and a lot would disagree with my opinions but when you have been involved in a car accident not being your fault then you tend to understand the massive change it can make to one's lifestyle.

Nigel Swanson, Narellan Vale

No check and balance

THERE have been some excellent rebuttals of Chris Patterson's deplorable attack on the Camden Community Alliance and Labor candidate Cindy Cagney.

I support most (though not all) of the alliance's concerns, especially in relation to the removal of the jacaranda trees.

I also happen to be the current Camden Labor branch secretary, but my concerns with the council's plans and aggressive behaviour are felt as a concerned resident.

Are my concerns any less important because I am of a different political persuasion than Chris (Patterson) and the council?

Unfortunately it has to be said that the current political dynamic in Camden prevents real democratic representation from occurring.

With Camden Council, a state MP and a federal MP all being from the Liberal Party, we have lost the democratic tension that allows communities' concerns to be heard.

Chris Patterson is unwilling to defend the community against the council or vice versa, because their decisions are all predetermined.

Therefore I implore all of you, the constituents of Camden, to no longer allow the Liberal council and politicians to take your vote for granted.

The next council election occurs in September 2016. Mark that in your diary as the day we return Camden Council to a true representative body, where no one party, even mine, dominates and dictates its ideology.

For anyone who may be keen to join the Camden Labor branch, either as a member or just a supporter, feel free to email me at camdenalp@gmail.com.

Damien Quinnell, Ellis Lane

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