Monday 16 January 2012

Dictionary definitions: to propose

Residents of Carmarthenshire have long been used to the county council's use of euphemisms. When we hear that a service is to be "developed" as a part of a "modernisation programme designed to meet the needs of users", we know that the service is for the chop.

Now we have to get to grips with an innovative use of the word "propose" in the case of car parking charges. On the council's website (here) is a piece of spin news item dated 10 January setting out proposed charges for the next three years. But as anyone parking their car noticed the week before, charges actually went up on 1 January. And with inflation running at around 5%, charges were increased by 25% as Carmarthenshire did its bit to help struggling businesses and family finances.

With the experts predicting a fall in inflation this year, the council is "proposing" to put up charges for parking by 75% over the next three years.

But all is not doom and gloom for everyone. If you read planning officers' reports on supermarket developments, you will see that free car parking is considered to be a good thing.

Perhaps "propose" and "consult" mean the same thing.

A rather different use of "propose" was a document recommending closure of the county's two museums. Within a couple of weeks the council was able to announce to a grateful public that it had "saved" the museums. You had to get out a magnifying glass to read the smallprint, which added "for the time being".

At least culture vultures and anyone interested in local history will be able to go to Towy Community Church's 10 pin bowling alley, thanks to generous financial support from the council's Sustainable Communities Fund, set up, as Caebrwyn has reminded us, "to develop and safeguard local legends, history, culture, art and language to inform visitors of the county’s distinctiveness, and also to maintain the character of Carmarthenshire for its residents."

No comments: