Compromise: nature of the Game

The Chester Chronicle came to my rescue last week by publishing the truth over a little “B—-s up” over a “No Ball game” sign wrongly placed in Level Road Park. Responding to frustrated constituent, whose garden backed onto the park (he was tired of footballs crashing into his garden), I had enlisted the help of Leisure Services supremo who suggested a sign as a temporary measure. We would meet to explore the siting of a kick wall facility which would direct footballs away from fences. Problem sorted I thought and moved on to the next job. Next day, I lifted the phone to very angry resident who shouted:
“You’ve really blown it now, where are the children supposed to play now”.
After a few more rants, I discovered who he was and why he was so mad. The sign – “No ball games allowed” had been plonked near the play swing area and nowhere near had the ball in the garden fence and Mr Angry assumed the whole park was out of bounds for games. Please tell your neighbours this is not the case and we are working on a final solution, I beseeched. Mr Nasty now calmer, agreed to assist. Phone went again. Leisure Services supremo had also received a blasting and had rung to try and warn me.
“He was very rude, said the supremo”. I’m not happy to be shouted at in such a way”.
“I know him, had dealings before” I said. “He’s just a bully.”
I rang George Tattum, Chester Chronicle chief reporter and asked for help. An article and a picture would help spread the word and remove some hassle from me. Slot for photographer was found, I collected ball protesting constituent and we trotted into the park to be photographed by offending sign. No sign. Not even a hole visible. Must have been one or why did angry neighbour ring? What would photographer say; she having been briefed to snap a sign? Val, the Chronicle’s excellent photographer, was understanding and made do with the play area as the background, a bit of fence, the troubled resident and I. We went our separate ways and I peeled off to call on my angry resident. Contrite and repentant, I was invited in and told that the sign was in a bed of nettles, having been vandalised by whomever!! Of course the information was correct and it was back to the drawing board as the sign would spend its entire life in the nettles. I had my meeting; Leisure Services supremos and a picture of the kick wall will soon be on display and planning notices will be in the post. If residents agree to this unit then play facilities will be much enhanced and there will be a small victory for compromise and common sense.

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