THE OPEN ROAD...
What a peaceful scene. In days of yore, this would have been a sight more common than it ever is today and it brings back visions of rural tranquillity, of the simple life, free from the pestilence of bureaucracy, with the freedom of the open road awaiting around the next corner.
Here in Dibley, we have been visited by the modern day equivalent of those genuine, beguiling yet mysterious travellers of old. A few weeks ago, a very smart and new large BMW arrived on a bit of our parish open space, along with the ubiquitous white van, an equally smart caravan and the `travelling` family made themselves at home.
Local residents were curious, the parish council swung into action by contacting the police, the local district council and the county council on the reasonable assumption that, since the parish council had no powers to get the newcomers to `move along, please,` those other authorities might use the powers at their respective disposal, either as enforcement agencies or landowners.
About four weeks on, nothing has changed except that our visitors have moved a short distance to an even nicer bit of open space, close to a running stream and a children's play area. Now I know these things take time and there might well be a myriad of bits of legislation and procedure to follow but in the meantime, concerns about such things as `personal hygiene,` litter issues, environmental damage, continue to mount.
Years ago, in a former life, one of my management edicts was, "For God`s sake do something, even if you just say goodbye." And it strikes me that in the situation we have here, too many `in authority` are frightened to do anything, possibly for fear of offending some namby-pamby human rights nonsense or being accused of not following proper procedure.
What`s needed is for someone to have the courage to follow my edict and just do something which could result in our visitors saying goodbye. After all, I thought the whole idea of being a traveller, was to travel?