When I heard Nelson Town Council had appointed a lengthsman, I was over the moon.
Alas, it was not long before I came plummeting back to earth. It was my own fault.
Foolishly, I imagined there would now be one organisation keeping our town centre spick and span.
Recent experiences have shown little has changed.
Report a town centre problem, which according to the fanfare that accompanied the lengthman’s appointment, you think comes within his remit and you are told: “Sorry, that XXX is the responsibility of the county council, borough council, parks department, Operational Services, highways, Pendle Rise, contractors, etc. etc. etc”. Indeed, you soon realise it is more of the same old, same old.
I will grant you the lengthman’s job specification and the limited hours he can work makes the labours of Hercules look like a walk in the park, but if he sees a problem that does not come under his remit, surely he could report it to appropriate department?
Ah, I hear you say, do we not already have people who are supposed to do this? Well, the answer is yes and no. I am convinced many of our councillors, executives, and management emulate our town’s namesake when it comes to seeing grotspots and the like. How many of those who slavishly followed in Mary Portas’s wake, for example, saw the amount of chewing gum that lies festering on the pavements in the town centre? Is it too much to expect that as they travel to and from the town hall they will not only see problems, but also use their taxpayer funded Blackberries to report them?
As for Mary Portas saying students and young people should be encouraged to come into the town centre, fine, but could she also ask them to dispose of their takeaway litter in a responsible way. During term time and despite there being a number of strategically placed litter bins, the route from the college along Surrey Road, under the motorway and up Pendle Street more often than not resembles a landfill site.
By the way, has anyone else realised that under the guise of giving us plebs a greater say in what goes on, town councils and parish councils are just another ploy to extract more money from us? If the borough council can’t increase its precept, then get extra revenue by setting up a town or parish council. It is the same principle used by budget airlines.
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