This week I have done very little walking but a heck of a lot of driving.
The Edmonton/Bentley Park area have a strong advocate for their children in Lisa Robbie and she has organised a petition for those she knows (myself included) to distribute to any local shops, groups etc....for signing. The petition has gained several hundred signatures in it's first week and when it ends on Friday, should have numbers well over one thousand, possibly closer to two.
Admittedly, this is not a tremendously large amount if you take the entire population of the region into account. However, if you take it for what it is....a localised initiative with only 10 days to complete....it's a more than reasonable effort.
This petition is focussed on getting the Council to continue negotiations and get the results for Sugarworld. Not the slides, that part of proceedings is travelling along on schedule, but the pools, the picnic area and the kiosk. What is really being asked for is not a whole lot really, opening up the working parts for the school holidays and only during the normal trading hours.
The large amount of children living here currently travel into the city for an almost identical experience in the Lagoon on the Esplanade. Opening Sugarworld would benefit the area, the road traffic, the kids, the parents and would utilise a facility that is already there, already being maintained and is very well known. There are actually no negative aspects in this idea.
Of course, it was immediately pointed out by the local Councillor that it was not conforming to the exacting standards for petitions as accepted by the Council. We don't care. The only thing not compliant is not going to interfere with people's ability to sign this. There are no facts missing, it is not hard to understand, it is available everywhere and it states the name and phone number of the person responsible. The object of it is to get the Council to fully understand the benefits to opening up the facility over the holidays and to inform them that people will go. They will spend a few dollars, they will pay the entry (it's cheaper than a bus to the city, or petrol) and they will do so in large numbers. That is the purpose of the petition and with the numbers seen so far, it's proved the point.
This is the reason for all of my driving. Dropping off and picking up petitions, all over the area. When the numbers are in and the forms all collated, they will be presented to Council as evidence that this option is a viable one and if they choose not to notice, or don't pay attention to the numbers, they simply aren't doing an effective job. The people want this to occur, the signatures say that. In an entire consultation process on the same facility about the slide options locals were in favour of, they received just over 700 responses. If that was enough for Council to notice then this one is unavoidable.