Send your letters to acting editor of the Reporter, David Pickering. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or send by internal post to press office, 12.67 E C Stoner building.
All letters will be considered for publication. We will not as a rule publish 'round robin' letters, letters that have been published elsewhere or letters that have also been sent to University colleagues for action. Letters may be cut (for space) and we will indicate where this has happened. If writers have asked questions, we will attempt to answer them. If they assert things we know to be untrue, we may add an editor’s note.
NOT MUSIC TO THE EARS?
(from Carol Cook, Faculty of Medicine & Health)
I was most interested to read the recent letters regarding use of the staff centre, and the fact that there was no quiet space for those who wished for that choice, and pleased to see that this will be available.
I recently raised the same issue at the Sports Centre. Having taken part in a cardiovascular research study last year, I was keen to carry on exercising after it had finished. The main reason I have never joined the Sports Centre before to use the fitness rooms is that there is music playing all the time, which I do not like.
I am now a member and go regularly but I find the music a noise pollution and a misery (despite ear plugs).
The University’s commitment to staff being responsible for their well-being by encouraging them to use the facilities provided is very welcome and I have requested that the choice of having a quiet alternative at the Sports Centre would therefore be very welcome.
There must be other members of staff who feel the same way as me and who regard exercise as an opportunity to be also contemplative and quiet. I expect that many people playing squash, using the weights room or other sports would not enjoy loud music during their exercise either - it would be interesting to know the criteria used to decide on music or no music.
Bill Butterworth, Sports Centre assistant director (indoor facilities) replies: Generally, music is played at most health and fitness clubs in different formats as an aid to exercise, as it helps the rhythm of movement, provides visual stimulus and can make the workout more invigorating.
However, individual taste in music varies greatly, which is extremely difficult to cater for. Carol raises an important point that some people do not enjoy music all of the time and that we should consider some quiet times in our future programming. A sport and physical activity questionnaire will be issued this semester, and a question on quiet times in the gym will be added to obtain wider feedback on this matter.
We are aware that the most up-to-date entertainment technology on the market allows the user to plug in their headphones into exercise equipment and choose from a variety of music and TV channels. At the moment we do not have this costly technology, but plan to install it within the new fitness suite attached to the swimming pool [see Reporter 521 issue for story].
(from Jonathan Adams, the director of Evidence Ltd)
The notice that increased car park charges are used to maintain the car parks will be greeted with wry amusement by regular users of purple zone. Especially those who take the off-road, four-wheel, cross-country moto-challenge above the Fourman Nursery (and, yes, you can take a Ford Galaxy at 30 degrees without tipping).
Add to that being regularly blocked in – or having all spaces taken – by In-Space vans (did we not have a proud estate services division at one time?) and then having your swipe card taken away and no security people at the end of a phone when you try to leave, and we end up with an equation that would make any analyst blanch.
Car park maintenance: another indicator to add to the league tables?
Robert Sladdin, director of estate services, replies: The Estate Strategy contains proposals to develop the purple zone area during the plan period. We do intend to undertake some interim improvement work in 2007 to address the drainage and gradient problems that are endemic to unsurfaced car parks. Such surfaces are also problematic due to the inability to properly mark spaces in order to optimise space usage and ensure that vehicles can manoeuvre easily and safely.
The software problems that caused the failure of the barrier card system have been resolved and permit holders are now receiving back programmed cards. Solving this problem also means that control room staff are better able to cope with the level of intercom transactions.
An additional parking officer was appointed in early January to improve enforcement on bogus parking.