Friday, August 15, 2014


I`ve often thought that Parish Councils are the most useful and most relevant of all the tiers of `government` in this country.  They are closest to local people and, of course, are made up of local people themselves.  They live in their own communities and so have their fingers on the pulses of any `issues` that might be affecting the community they represent and of which they are part.   And as the tiers of government get bigger - District/Borough Councils, County Councils, Central Government, European Parliament etc. - it seems to me that their detachment from local people and therefore the remoteness of those organisations increase proportionately;  perhaps illustrated by the increasing disconnect between the electors and the elected.  

Following our recent encounter with the visiting `travellers,` our Parish Council, despite not being the owners of the land which was invaded or indeed without having any legal powers to resolve the situation, thought it would be useful to call a special public meeting to review what happened, the action taken by the various agencies involved and learn lessons for the future.  

So it was that a good number of parishioners attended the village hall on Wednesday evening, primed for a concerted rant at one or two of the aforementioned agencies.   Sadly, however, we were met with a string of `apologies for absence` from variously ranking police officers and since the bulk of the questioning was likely to have been directed towards the police for their apparent reluctance to take any form and decisive action when it was needed, the meeting was not as productive as it might have been.  

I was left with the impression that as the incident was over and done with a couple of weeks ago, then despite the fact that there are still outstanding issues to resolve, not least the measures to be taken to prevent a similar occurrence in the future, the attitude of a number of agencies was to shrug their collective shoulders and `move on at the end of the day.`

Well, the traveller invasion may have gone away but that experience, together with the `performance` of those agencies charged with the responsibility to protect those communities who pay for them, will not be forgotten in a hurry.


Ray Turner said...

My experience of our local Parish Council is that it is essentially useless. All of the important decisions are taken at a higher level.

Snopper said...

And that`s the problem, Ray - it seems the more `important` the decision the higher up the chain it goes until momentous decisions are taken despite the wishes of the majority. Iraq anyone?