Business Principles: Vision
A change of direction in the blog today; I will update you on some actions I brought away from Community Council last night and then I shall share with you my vision for the design of the business premises.
Community Council Actions
So last night’s meeting was a good one as it turned out (mostly) including a presentation on the next Angus Local Development Plan consultation which generated much thought provoking discussion. You probably will not be surprised to hear that usually at such discussions I can be relied upon to mention sustainable public transport. So this time I held back and waited to see what else was raised. The topic of new build housing was first up – with a suggestion that Kirriemuir dies not need additional housing because the current infrastructure cannot support many more people and already the majority of people leave Kirriemuir each day to go to their employment.
Although we need jobs to come to Kirriemuir the surrounding towns have large volumes of empty business land; a developer has just started, many years after it was originally approved, the business land development along the road (on Dog’s field) and why do we think that will fill up when other developments have not? Sound familiar? I think I argued much the same a few days ago when I was being all Arthur Dent and Dog was protest peeing on signs! but that was not my contribution last night.
Then the comment was made that commuting by car is expensive – £70 a week was quoted for fuel for a similar journey to I was making. That of course doesn’t include all the other running costs of a car and a bus ticket is £24 per week. Cue my paw in the air to suggest that the Councils Local Development Plan needs to include how they will develop strategic partnerships with the public transport providers; subsidised travel will decrease and it now needs to become sustainable based on providing the right journeys at the right time reliably and efficiently so that people will trust the service and use it. Just for good measure I added that Broadband provision required the same approach.
Out of that discussion one of the elected Councillors asked me to let him have thoughts for him to take to Tactrans (Regional Transport delivery) and then we discussed whether there should be a bus shelter at the Square in Kirriemuir. I had to own my nerdy hobby of Bus Shelter spotting to suggest we could design a heritage style bus shelter. In a minute I am going to blog about a design tool I use but first here are some ‘just for fun’ designs I made there a while ago for a country bus shelter and a country rail station too:
So I have sent an e-mail about the bus shelter with copies of my photos. I am still working on the Tactrans e-mail for him but essentially my vision is for a sustainable network of public transport for rural Angus including the addition of a volunteer driver Community Transport Scheme. It is a big ask to create it but I visited one in the Cairngorms a year or so ago and they have extended their scheme to include providing the loan of mobility scooters in the Cairngorms National Park adjacent to a route which the Forestry Commission has upgraded to a suitable firm path. We have a long way to go to overturn some of the misunderstandings that arise in disabled people accessing public transport and yet in a few years time it has to be addressed and all public transport fully accessible. This presents challenges to the fleet owners who will need to bring newer vehicles into service and it challenges the general public who are not always as empathetic as they could be.
I have had an image in my head of the ATTIC (Assistive Technologies Internet Café) that I want as the base for the business for sometime now but I have been struggling to commit the ideas to paper (or computer in fact). I use a sight which I love and which I do believe has the best 3D planning tool for the range of furniture and items we are able to use, including having wheelchairs and walking frames.
As I do with most things I like to contribute to the community there and try hard to answer questions in the forum (isn’t it miserable when you arrive a ]s a newcomer to a community and you get ignored?), create little tutorials and generally be a helpful and enthusiastic community member. Sadly many of those who have been in that community a while like me have reached the conclusion that the community is of no consequence to the site owners; their focus is on selling product. They have staff spending huge amounts of time doing SEO and social media stuff which is recruiting large numbers of members, some of whom appear to be ‘fake’ registrations and many of whom make one design and then disappear. What they are not doing is fully supporting the infrastructure to maintain stability for those who are dedicated and committed designers. The downtime becomes frustrating; the bugs irritate and there is no spam control!
Why am I sharing this with you? well because there are some very talented designers in the community and their designs should be an asset to the site and as with any business it is important to support your talent and develop it. I appreciate having access to the site to play and always remember it is free of charge to us as users.
The upshot of feeling neglected and not valued has meant that recently I have not been able to focus on designing … but earlier this week I managed to get back to it so today I have started work on ATTIC. I don;t have all the furniture I want – for example I will be sourcing tables that are height adjustable and special toilets and wash basins as well as telecare equipment so the furnishings here are for impression. Here is my step by step so far – hover your mouse over each image to get a summary description:
This still isn’t complete and I will do more to it but now I have an image to let other clearly see the vision:
- Anybody can visit;
- There will be telecare equipment to see and possibly to borrow; along with advice from caring staff;
- There will be no counter, the kitchen area is open plan and will feature some of the assistive technologies (eg one cup boiler instead of kettle) which customers will be able to try out by making their own refreshments if the wish and are safe to do so;
- Height adjustable tables, washbasins and cupboards;
- Fewer tables than a standard café so there is plenty of room for wheelchairs, walking frames or to allow people personal space (important in some health conditions);
- Outdoor space, light, bright and cheerful;
- I would really love a separate room for delivering training but I might have to compromise and use the café so I will have to think about achieving that transformation.
So one of my hobbies starts to work for the business … I hope you will come back to see the finished design soon and if you like something or see an issue why not leave me a comment – it would be great to hear what you think.