Monday, 2 September 2013

A fine old mesh

Cneifiwr has often worried about the mental well-being of the press office in County Hall, particularly when it gets excited about Dai Green or some new council-sponsored development and pulls out all of the stops to produce gushing, over-the-top purple prose.

Perhaps they are smoking wacky baccy or drinking rocket fuel out of test tubes. Or perhaps there are subversives at work on Jail Hill who are gleefully undermining the authority of the self-proclaimed best council in Wales with parodies of local authority press releases. Who knows.

The latest masterpiece concerns the refurbishment of the Murray Street Multi Storey Car Park in Llanelli. Most of us would find it hard to get excited about a car park, but not Carmarthenshire County Council's Press Office.

Llanelli Multi Story car park gets the finishing touches of a stunning makeover. Pix: Jeff Connell

This large concrete and steel edifice is, wait for it, now one of the town's "bright iconic buildings":

"The rather dowdy looking 40-year-old 527 space car park has had lifts replaced, stairwells overhauled and all seven decks have been specially concrete treated and decorated with non-slip walkways. 

Now it has been transformed to one of Llanelli town centre’s bright iconic buildings.

It has new crash barriers, brilliant high visibility lighting, a visual display showing the occupancy, signage,  electric car charging points and a spectacular new exterior look between decks with silver eye-mesh cladding on the entrance elevations."

Cllr Colin Evans, who normally confines himself to fairly sober impressions of the German Nobel Prize winning author Gunter Grass, is quoted as saying,

"It is a project the town can be proud of and the eye mesh cladding on the front elevations have given it a bright new look for another 25-years of use.”

Another Nobel Prize in the offing?
Some more down to earth residents of Llanelli suspect that the exciting new eye mesh cladding has rather more to do with the car park's popularity as a venue for those contemplating suicide. There have been two suicides in the last year, and umpteen more in the preceding 40 years.



Anonymous said...

I don't think this post is funny. The attempts to stop suicides should be a paused not mocked. I'm afraid you've got your tone wrong on this one cneifiwr.

m1books said...

Has any one else noticed the creeping overuse of the word 'iconic'? On television, in the news, newspapers etc.
For goodness sake since when did a carpark become revered.

Anonymous said...

Looks like Simon Thomas AM disagrees with you

Anonymous said...

Oh Cneifiwr, having missed your blogs over the last couple of weeks, I was so looking forward to your return. Sadly, I have to agree with anon 10:34 that mental health is no joking matter. Having said this, given the fact that sadly, vulnerable people have lost their lives at this car park, I also find CCC's headline, "NEW LEASE OF LIFE FOR MULTI STOREY CAR PARK" distasteful and offensive.

Cneifiwr said...

Thanks for the feedback. The wording could have been more sensitive.

The link provided by Anon @15.16 is the real story here. The car park has seen a number of suicides - something the council PR piece ignored completely. Presumably the mesh has been installed to try to prevent that from happening again rather than as decoration.

Anonymous said...

There has been some good work done inside and it is far more pleasant to use now, but it is a 1960’s style multi-storey car park and nothing more.

I would have preferred an informative rather than sensationalist description of the new car park from the press office, perhaps with a run down of the cost to park too. Surely their primary job is to inform the public not exaggerate?

There have been calls locally for the building to be made safer and for once the council answered those calls. The press office would have had gained far more credit for the council if they had been honest like Cneifwr and explained the true purpose of the mesh.

Anonymous said...

Happy birthday Kevin Madge 56 ( going on 90 ) today!!!

Car park is a fire risk now and people will kill themselves if they want to!!!!

Where is the support for the families??? CCC need to sort something for families of suicide!!! . . . . Please!

Anonymous said...

For 1.7 Milan it should be bloody gold plated!!!!
Sorry gold powder coated so we don't get glare!!!

Cneifiwr, please never write sensitively as the need to provoke emotive responses gauges true public opinion!!

To those that pity the suicide victim, check out the psychology of suicide, medications that create self harm, drug and alcohol related suicides etc!!

Think of the family that are still alive with the I wish I would have or I should have etc.

CCC please get some support set up for the families of attempted suicide and suicide!!!! They are here, breathing and living, help them too!!! They are a priority!!!!

Anonymous said...

My son, aged 25, killed himself five years ago. Absolutely and definitely the LAST thing I would want is for the county council to poke their noses in to our grief thank you very much Anon 23.55

Anonymous said...

Thank you Cneifiwr for acknowledging that the wording of your blog could have been more sensitive. It is most admirable of you!

For the record, I was not objecting to the facts you presented. It was the misconception that people with mental health get excited, go over the top etc that upset me. Sadly, misconceptions about mental illness leads to stigma which all too often prevents those suffering from mental health, seeking the help and support they so desperately need.

In respect of the Car Park, I not only find CCC's press release to be distasteful and the headline offensive but insulting to the memory of those who lost their lives and the families who have lost a loved one. In light of the car park's sad history, CCC should have been proactive as opposed to reactive.