Thursday, September 27, 2007

Voicing Concerns

I’m getting old. How can I tell this? Simple I’ve started moaning, despairing at the young ‘uns and stupidity of the local council. Last night I realised I’ve headed into middle-ageness early as I attended a local council forum – a chance to air your views on the city and immediately get a response from representative of the environment agency, police and council themselves.

There were many burning issues:
Rat runs
Flip charts (yes, really!)
Pissing in bushes
Road cleaners
Polling stations

It’s amazing what the public moan about.

One thing that bugs me was the general inability of people to voice their opinions in a clear and succinct manner which often lead to the debates wandering off and actually missing the point. The police were brilliant and answered queries simply, honestly and effectively. The council representatives often displayed their unique ability to ramble on pointlessly without addressing the issue.

For instance I voiced a genuine concern about the speed with which buses zoom up our street, narrowly missing children – though not missing my friends car a few months ago. The bus driver pronged his car without a care and just drove on!

Did the councillor sound shocked and say “I will contact the bus company immediately and impose a 20mph speed limit or get them to monitor their drivers” Nope, instead she rabbited on about how it’s a general lack of respect in our society and how the chavs of today grow up to be the bus drivers of tomorrow and that’s the problem. Bizzare and totally missing the point…

One issue was the distance of our polling station from our ward – a school that’s a good 25 mins walk away. Not good when you consider a high percentage of residents are elderly. The amazing response to this was that the electoral register did not realise that the school had moved! (It used to be a 10-minute walk).

One thing that also concerned me was that the councillors often displayed a ‘woe is me’ attitude to our complaints and queries. They attempted to gain sympathy by saying they had many many problems to deal with and often had to jump through hoops to get things done. The forget there’s one critical reason they have to do that… it’s their fucking job! No doubt they get paid handsomely for it. If it really is that stressful then go and get a job gardening or something. Quite pathetic really.
Still all that said in a perverted way I really did enjoy spending an hour listen to people moan and argue… I’ll be doing it again soon.

No comments: