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Although like many people I think I could do a far better job than both this lot and the last incumbent, I’d hate to be running my country right now, with hundreds of thousands of extra residents here and clearly no foresight on the part of the previous government into the issues this would cause when it came to the need to provide essential services. We didn’t have the infrastructure in place and it’s clear that far too little money was set aside to improve it. Money was invested in daft projects, such as flooding the airwaves and national press with expensive advertisements advising us to have our ‘five a day’ (fruit and veg) instead of investing in the things we needed so that all those living here could have a decent quality of life.
Now we’re all suffering and instead of the infrastructure improving, cuts are still being made because there just isn’t the money available to pay for everything. It’s all very frustrating but what can we do?
One woman – like many of us angry with the way her local environment is going to rack and ruin, has taken matters into her own hands and hired a ‘handywoman’ to clean streets, empty bins, collect litter, wash bus stops and telephone boxes, pick up dog mess, cut hedges, replace broken street lights and do all the sorts of things we used to expect our local authorities to do.
Durham County Council has to cut more than £16 million from its budget over the next 12 months so good on Ling Valentine for making the £16,000 available to pay Clare Honey an annual salary to look after Grange Villa in County Durham, plus extra to equip her with a motorised buggy and uniform!
The scheme, running since November, has been so successful that it has won the backing of Durham Police, although Ling has had to tell Clare to ignore the local councillors who are claiming she needs a special licence to pick up rubbish…
Let’s hope the health & safety police don’t spoil all this and that others, elsewhere, follow suit and take responsibility for their local environment - paid or not!
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29th January 2015