I VISITED the beach early this morning and having read the reports and letter in the Echo I knew what to expect: the aftermath of Glastonbury Festival before the clear up, with reckless cyclists hurtling along the prom.

What a surprise. No tents or mattresses to be seen and very little litter. A few people swimming, walking, jogging or riding their bikes, everyone greeting and treating each other with courtesy and consideration. The beach, even though so crowded the day before, was free of litter. And there approaching were the council vehicles, their staff busy with cleaning and emptying bins. All was peace and calm and beauty.

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Naturally I trust what I read in the Echo but it seems as if there are two conurbations that we inhabit like parallel universes. There is one in which all is bad and getting worse and it’s all the council’s (and cyclists’) fault, and then there’s another Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole in which there are plenty of problems but even more good and encouraging people, the BCP Council are doing a fine job despite the pared down budget allocated by central government, and in which cycling is helping reduce congestion pollution and obesity.

I wonder if perhaps we can choose which of these two parallel conurbations we wish to inhabit...


St Aldhelm’s Road, Poole