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Richard Pickles

Richard's July Reflections

20 Jul 2017   |   Ani Radountcheva   |   0 Comments


As most people know, I am a rugby man. I’m neither the right size nor shape for anything else to be honest and I’ve always loved the fact that there is a place in a rugby union side for everyone, no matter what size they are. In my humble opinion (IMHO, if you’re down with the kids) that’s what makes it the greatest team game around.
So, it will be no surprise to you that I followed the Lions tour to New Zealand with more than a little enthusiasm. So what I want to waffle on about is the reaction of the players from both sides to the draw in the final test match (which also led to a drawn series) for a minute or two, if that’s OK…
For the initial 10 minutes after the final whistle it was quite bizarre. Players were wandering around not really knowing what to do and, if they were honest with themselves, they were all disappointed not to have won the game and the series (although if I was wearing black I would probably have been a little more disappointed, they butchered a couple of clear try scoring opportunities!). It was as though both sides had actually lost. But these are professional sportsmen, playing at the pinnacle of their sport, they are winners through and through, so they were naturally disappointed when they came so close.
It made me wonder about the concept of ‘winning’ and ‘losing’. In many schools nowadays, everyone wins, everyone gets a prize. It’s not about the winning, it’s about taking part. And to some extent I get that. But unfortunately life isn’t like that. I would go so far as to say that one of the best lessons I learnt at school was actually learning how to lose. How to take a knock-back, pick yourself up, dust yourself down, learn your lessons and get on with it. It strikes me that learning how to deal with losing is actually a much better life skill than winning all the time.
And so the All Blacks and the Lions quickly got over their collective disappointment and realised that the game they play and love was the real winner. They may have felt like they had ‘lost’ the chance of winning the series, but the scenes after the presentation when both teams were mingling and enjoying each other’s company were great. I bet the post-match ‘formal’ dinner was a riot!
Which brings me round to TATs from the Local Authorities. They just don’t seem to be getting any better. I’m afraid they haven’t gone in the right direction again this month, admittedly they haven’t slipped much, but it’s still the wrong way. Be assured we are doing all we can to turn everything around as quickly as possible for you but issues such as Tameside having their building declared unsafe and Hertsmere and others being short-staffed don’t help. We will keep pushing and pushing for improvements.

Below are the usual highlights that you should be aware of:

OLAS Working Days PLAS Working Days
Herefordshire 18 to 6 Days North Kesteven 17 to 9 Days
Torridge 22 to 14 Days Huntington 21 to 13 Days
West Dorset 46 to 27 Days Boston 21 to 16 days

However the summer holiday season is now upon us. It was strange last summer, we had a really busy August (at the time our 2nd busiest month ever!), who knows what will happen this year? But enjoy your summer, have a great holiday (if you have one booked) and may the market continue to be as resilient as it is currently.

Don’t forget the Factor 30!



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