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Saturday, 7 June 2014

Council Discuss Love Milford Padlock Heart

They say timing is everything, and I have certainly found this to be true!

To explain, I went along to a recent Parish council meeting, this is by no means my natural environment, indeed any mention of the word 'committee' has me running for the nearest bar!

My purpose for going was to make the Parish Council aware of a new idea for the 'Love Milford Padlock Heart'. I was looking forward to explaining the tourism and commercial benefits of this living sculpture, and how it would fit in with Love Milford Week next February.

The Love Milford Padlock Heart
Living sculpture for the village
I was not looking for 'permission', but simply seeking the Parish Council 'opinion'. I then planned to seek the opinion of the people of Milford on Sea, and based on that, to decide the best way forward. To be frank, I fully expected the Parish Council to reject the concept out of hand.

As an experienced victim of 'Sod's Law (Anything than can go wrong, will), I was waiting for what misfortune was to come my way. It did not take too long to arrive.

At the meeting there had just been an emotionally charged discussion on a War Memorial (click here to read), and guess who was next to present! Had I been following a proposal for say, a fish pond in the middle of the village green, or a night club in Gwen's old shop, I might have fancied my chances of getting people excited. But, presenting a fun topic after such a serious subject was, as you may expect, not ideal.

Rejected location
for Love Milford
Padlock Heart.
We have other
 location ideas!
Anyway, I circulated my pictures and proposal and then explained the concept to everyone (click here to read details), this was then followed by an interesting discussion.

Almost immediately, it was branded an 'absolute joke' by one councillor, and I was certainly glad to have the enthusiastic support of councillor Matt Goode.

As things progressed, the committee started to warm a little to the idea. However, the proposal of locating the Love Milford Padlock Heart on a 'dead area' (at the top & round the corner) of the village green was rejected. Having rejected a new War Memorial on the village green just moments before, this came as no surprise!

What came as more of a surprise, was that the majority of councillors seemed to like the idea once they understood the concept and benefits to the village. One councillor certainly remained against.

Comments were raised on the size of the sculpture, the design and location, and I was asked if I would reconsider these.

The Parish Council then voted as to whether they supported the concept in principle, subject to final design and location. To my pleasure, the vote was carried with only one objection.

Story in Lymington Times
The Lymington Times had a reporter at the meeting, and his article on the meeting was published this week. No doubt the dramatic headline title drew a lot of attention, just a bit of a shame the newspaper was not a bit clearer on the statement; 'Councillors decided not to back the scheme'. The councillors were indeed clear they would not allow the proposed location, however, they were open to the concept.

After due consideration, we think that the design is exciting and practical to build, so there are no proposals to change this.

The size and colour are all still for debate at a later stage, as is the location, which needs to be close to the village centre, but not on the Village Green. Right now we just need to know if village residents would like to see a living sculpture where everyone can display their affection for the village and each other.

So, it is now over to the people of Milford on Sea.

Please let us know your opinion. If you like the idea, your vote may make it happen, and if you don't you can put the crazy idea to bed!

By not voting, you not get something you think will enhance this wonderful village, no doubt the people who do not want it will be most vocal. 


Love Milford Week


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