The Nether Regions

The blog that slips an affectionate hand between the thighs of the regional media

Archive for the ‘Council hatred’ Category

The grass is always shorter on the other side

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To the suburbs of Nottingham, where the residents refuse to let the grass grow under their feet. But concerned residents Bill and Sylvia Fenton’s lives have been turned upside down since finding themselves victims of the most brutal aspects of the coalition government’s austerity agenda.

They may not have been driven out of work or had their benefits cut to the point of starvation but, worse, they have faced the degradation and humiliation of having longer grass than their neighbours across the street as a result of cuts to local authority budgets.

Nottingham Post, 12 June 2013 (story):

Carlton couple return from holiday to find grass by their street cut to different lengths

A PAIR of bemused Carlton pensioners returned from holiday to find patches of grass on either side of their street cut at completely different lengths.

Bill, 65, and Sylvia Fenton, 67, of Shelford Road, Carlton, were baffled when they were told it was because one side of the road, at the junction with County Road, is managed by Notts County Council while the other is looked after by Gedling Borough Council.


A month later, the 75-square-metre space outside the Fentons’ house has been left to grow up to 12 inches long while the other side has been cut again.

“It feels like it’s not on their list of things to do,” said Bill. “We just don’t feel like we’re getting the service we pay for. I drove through Burton Joyce yesterday and all the patches of grass look like billiard tables.”

If you want to look at a billiard table then get down to your local working mens’ club and put your 50p on the side of the table like the rest of us, you human lawnmoaner.

There are some astonishing local authority grass facts in the rest of the report.

Both councils said grass is cut purely for safety reasons, not to make the surrounding area look nice.

Gedling Borough Council cuts its grass areas 14 times a season, between March and October, compared to Notts County Council, which cuts five times between April and September.

Dave Walker, the county council’s district highways manager for Gedling, said: “The county council is responsible for cutting more than 5,000 kilometres of grass verge right across the county. There was a delay starting this year due to bad weather which, unfortunately, also helps the grass to grow that bit quicker.”

The county council also added that cost plays a part in the number of times grass is trimmed and that grass grows at varying speeds in different areas, depending on the soil.

And that’s your grass facts, for now.

Thanks to Paul Forster for picking out this press cutting.


Written by Paddy

September 10, 2013 at 10:31 am

The people of Staithes DO care

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It is a truth universally acknowledged that any article or letter which dares to question the merits of a town or its people will quickly provoke a fierce rebuke from affronted natives in the local paper’s letters page.

In this case, timewarped and tiny north-eastern fishing village and depressing Sunday afternoon family outing hotspot of my youth,  Staithes, bites back. And excitingly, it bites back in the form of a letter from Winifred Craig, who writes under a name designed for a 243 year-old while inexplicably claiming to be just 76.

An extra interesting fact about Staithes before you move on: the demented locals pronounce it as ‘Steers’. So there.

Whitby Gazette, 16 March 2011 (letter):

The people of Staithes DO care

I read with horror and consternation the article of 15 March headed ‘I drive by when I see village sign Staithes’.

It was then when I came to the paragraph – ‘you should resign yourself to the fact that Staithes does not care whether you visit or not’ – I became outraged.

How dare he. As an original of Staithes of some 76 years and having lived and travelled worldwide I have seen some horrendous sights and smells, he makes Staithes seem like the aftermath of Tsunami.

The people of Staithes do care. We have a very dedicated council employee who does a magnificent job of cleaning the village and if anything above his job is brought to his attention he will do his utmost to resolve it. But the writer puts the cap fairly and squarely on the right head when he mentions Scarborough Borough Council. They do not seem to care about these little villages and concentrate money, time and effort on Scarborough, as he duly notes.

And as for the polluted beach and water, this is because of the groin being in the wrong place and the cutting off of the tidal flow from the north and south sides of the piers, which has never been rectified. Please don’t blame the locals, blame bureaucracy and the indifference of the council who should care, but don’t.

This isn’t the first time a wrongly-placed groin will have cut off something’s flow. Right lads?

Oh dear.

Oh, and by the way, my husband has a blue badge and as we live at the top of the bank and as he cannot walk more than a few feet after suffering a stroke, finds it impossible to visit our old home on the seafront, and know why, it’s because since the council laid the new cobblestones it shakes him up so much it makes him ill.

So writer, if you have any clout at all, get in touch with Scarborough Borough Council and justify your remarks. You never know, you may succeed where others have failed.

Winifred Craig, Cliff Road, Staithes

Surely these cobblestones are in contravention of disability legislation? If Staithes shakes up people in wheelchairs to the point of illness, then the original article probably made a fair recommendation about driving by drive by the village sign.

Written by Paddy

March 21, 2011 at 1:25 pm

Hair today, suspended from the Town Council tomorrow

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Reasons why Town Councils simply should not be  allowed to exist #743: this story.

Reasons why Town Councils are an essential part of Our Way of Life #3: this most extraordinary of wigs…

The Northern Echo, 14 January 2011 (story):

Council chair dispute settled

A COUNCILLOR was suspended for a month yesterday after a tribunal ruled on an argument over who was first sitting in a chair.

Councillor Billy Blenkinsopp’s suspension marks the end of a 16- month row with Councillor Dorothy Bowman which he estimates has cost the taxpayer £50,000.

The pair, both members of Great Aycliffe Town Council, fell out when Coun Bowman sat down at a town council meeting on September 9, 2009.

While councillors do not have reserved seats they often sit in the same place, and Coun Blenkinsopp believed Coun Bowman was sitting in someone else’s chair.

The tribunal found that Coun Blenkinsopp told Coun Bowman to “p*** off” which he denied – claiming he told her to “get down her own end”.

Is that a euphemism? If so, I’m sure we can all agree such actions should have no place in a council chamber.

Turns out he’s a Lib Dem: hardly a surprise, given their recent behaviour in general. I wonder if this kind of thing is increasingly common around the Cabinet table in No. 10?

Yesterday’s tribunal was held after Coun Blenkinsopp, a former jockey who has served on various councils for 24 years, appealed against the three-month ban.

Coun Blenkinsopp told the tribunal that “tradition dictates” he, as deputy leader, should sit next to Bob Fleming, the then leader of the town council, as he had done that evening.

Coun Bowman said she had gone to sit in her usual place, next door but one to the leader, which she claimed prompted Coun Blenkinsopp’s four-letter out burst.

There’s something not quite right about describing a mere use of ‘piss’ as a “four-letter outburst”. Maybe if suspended Liberal Democrat Councillor Billy Blenkinsopp had gone for a ‘fuck’, a ‘twat’, a ‘cunt’ or a ‘COCK’, yes, but not just a ‘piss’, surely? Oh, and hello to those of you who are just joining us via Google.

A grateful tip of the wig to Nicky Sawicki for unearthing this gem.

Written by Paddy

January 20, 2011 at 12:27 pm

Harping back to the parking bays

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Why is it that old people are always willing to be locked up? No wonder the prisons are so overcrowded.

If nothing else, this story is an important lesson in car dashboard etiquette.

The Echo, Southend, 22 November 2010 (story):

Irene, 90: I’ll go to jail rather than pay fines

A 90-YEAR-OLD woman says she’ll go to prison rather than pay two parking tickets she was given in the space of just 15 minutes.

Irene Reynolds found her car, parked near her home in Old Leigh High Street, had been given a ticket because she had accidentally left a glove covering part of her disabled permit.

Still seething about parking wardens’ meanness, she drove off to take a friend to Leigh Broadway, where she parked on Leigh Hill, near St Clement’s Church.

Her friend left her a Mars bar on the dashboard as a thank you present for the lift – and it covered part of her parking permit. The result: Another ticket.

Retired headmistress Mrs Reynolds, who is recovering from a broken leg, said of the second incident: “I popped in to a nearby store and when I came back, I could see the wardens standing there laughing their heads off. I hobbled as fast as I could to the car, but was horrified to find another ticket.

“My friend had left a Mars bar on the dashboard for me, to say thanks for the lift, but he had accidentally put part of the chocolate over my permit.”

Euphemism of the Day: he’d put part of his chocolate over her permit.

This is a truly heartbreaking tale. It is almost unthinkable that items as innocuous as a lone glove and a Mars bar could be directly responsible for unleashing such pain on the vulnerable in society. Not that Irene is going down without a fight, of course:

The former head of the old Westminster School, in Westcliff, added: “I couldn’t believe they could all be so heartless. I know you have to display the permit clearly, but it wasn’t completely covered. It was quite obvious I had a permit. I absolutely refuse to pay these fines.

“I will go to prison before I pay a penny. It’s too silly for words and just so unfair.”

The council has promised to look into the incidents after the Echo raised them with it.

She’ll get off. Retired headmistresses always do.

Written by Paddy

November 23, 2010 at 11:41 am

Pavement people

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Old people are quick to sneer at youths riding bikes down pavements but, as this story goes to show, they’re no better when it comes to keeping pedestrian areas clear. And they certainly don’t like it up ’em.

Surrey Comet, 29 May 2010 (st0ry):

Bakery bust up angers elderly

Fed up residents have formed a chorus of dissent against Kingston Council’s decision to charge a bakery for providing a popular social spot for Old Malden’s disabled and elderly people.

Last week, the Plough Bakery in Malden Road was visited by council staff who demanded it remove external tables and chairs, used by many elderly and disabled residents who claimed they had nowhere else to socialise.

Top marks to the Surrey Comet for expertly shoehorning a walking stick, wicker shopping basket, carrier bag and TWO mobility scooters into one photo. Not to mention what appears to be a bullet-proof vest and Fedora hat combo sported by the scooter occupant on the left… incredible scenes.

If you ever need anything clamping down on (e.g. insecure ladders, illegally parked cars, endemic prostitution), it sounds like Kingston Council are up to the job:

Councillor David Fraser said: “Have you ever heard such rubbish in all your life? It’s health and safety gone crazy but that’s Kingston Council for you. They clamp down on anything.

“I talked to a blind chap called Charlie who was in tears about the whole thing. As a social worker I think they should be ashamed of themselves.”

A reference to blind people in tears equates to emotional blackmail on an unashamedly grand scale. Kingston Council – for the love of God, reverse this decision. Reverse it now.

Written by Paddy

July 29, 2010 at 11:11 am

Where is the poetic justice?

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At first glance, it could have been just any old protest at plans to close a local primary school. But then the affected children publicly unburdened their souls through deeply moving verse. The Staines News was first on the scene.

Staines News, 18 February 2010 (story):

Pupils write poems to save Shortwood School

DISHEARTENED school children have visited the Mayor of Spelthorne to read poems to try and stop the closure of their school.

Children aged between five and seven visited Caroline Spencer in her offices at Spelthorne Council, in Knowle Green, on Wednesday, and read stories and poems about the possible closure of Shortwood Infant School, in Stanwell New Road, Staines.

Shouldn't you lot be in school?

Just imagine having to stare these children in the face when they’ve finished reading their poems and tell them their school is still getting bulldozed to make way for an Aldi.

Although Mrs Spencer had to remain non-political due to her post, she said ‘it was lovely to meet the children and I had great fun hearing their works.’

One of the poems was written by six-year-old Georgina Clark, which said: “I am at the end of my Shortwood years, but the council (Surrey) have brought me to tears.”

Mrs Buckingham’s daughter Carys, also read a poem, which said: “The teachers are so great, but don’t forget our mates.”

Mrs Buckingham said the children were competing to write the best poem, and said that kind of competition is what makes the school worth keeping open.

Despite the fact there’s always a good story in emotional blackmail like this, the report disgracefully fails to quote any more extracts from the children’s poetry. There will have surely been further tear-jerking nuggets of youthful resentment left unreported:

“We may be practically toddlers, but even we know this is cobblers.”

“If I end up unable to spell, I hope you’ll burn in hell.”

“When Shortwood gets the axe, where do you expect us to play Kissy Cats?”

“It’s not just the council (Surrey) we hate, but in fact decades of flawed national education policy and the increasing reliance upon market forces in the delivery of schooling, mate.”

Written by Paddy

April 22, 2010 at 3:15 pm

Splayed on South Street

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It’s not normally nice to laugh at those suffering pain, but people requiring specially reinforced stretchers are fair game.

Romford Recorder, 5 March 2010 (story):

Wheelchair man’s fall sparks road chaos

A DISABLED man who was injured when his mobility wheelchair overturned in Romford sparked a major traffic jam.

Spencer Pindus, 60, who weighs 25 stone, was splayed on South Street for more than 30 minutes on Tuesday morning (February 2) as emergency crews struggled to maneouvre him into an ambulance, using a specially reinforced stretcher.

The former bus driver, from Neave Crescent, Romford, had just finished a burger and chips breakfast in a nearby pub when his motorised chair hit a hole in the ground, throwing him face-first into the road. […]

Mr Pindus, who may have to undergo surgery on his nose following the fall, blames a large pothole for his accident.

“I’m a big man so it takes a lot of force to move me from my chair, but I hit a dip in the road and was just slung out,” he said.

“The council need to get their roads and pavements in order or someone could be seriously hurt in the future.”

He says he is now considering legal action against Havering Council.

Legal action? This is so symptomatic of the disgusting post-1980s Thatcherite consensus of rampant individualism, rathole ethics and blame-anyone-else compensation culture which has gripped the nation for thirty years and threatens to… oh, sorry, wrong meeting.

The lesson here is that burger and chips breakfasts and potholes do not mix. A picture of the victim, which I am too generous to post here, is available via the link.

Written by Paddy

April 7, 2010 at 12:42 pm

Posted in Council hatred

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