Tuesday, 27 May 2008

My Home Town

Council Tax continues to spiral year after year but the public sees little return for their money. Twenty five years ago I settled in Loughborough close to the world famous university and at that time it was a pleasant little market town close to the Charnwood Forest. It had a council work force of gardeners who kept the roundabouts, the flower borders on the main roads and the town centre park in wonderful condition.

The many park areas in the town were regularly maintained, the brooks kept under control and frankly it was a delight to live here. Since then everything has gone downhill and now frankly the town is a disgrace. The reason is that Charnwood Borough Council handed over maintenance of the towns grass areas to the County Council and since then they have ignored us. Protest letters are often sent to the local paper but nothing happens.

Loughborough must be the nettle and weed capital of the East Midlands. Narrow paths are overgrown, former flower beds are a wilderness, the roundabouts a disgrace and the grass is often left to grow for far too long. The waste bins overflow with dog faeces which have been carefully collected by diligent owners but nobody can organise a regular rubbish collection.

A large number of students will always bring problems and the litter left by these people alongside the waste bins which they dismantle every weekend, the broken glass and the pizza and burger cartons lie for days in the streets.

The roads are chock full of traffic bumps, mini roundabouts and traffic lights which often makes a journey through Loughborough a nightmare. They have succeeded in turning some minor streets formerly normal thoroughfares into nightmares. It is incompetence on a grand scale, a criminal waste of public money and yet nobody seems to care.

Some time ago I blogged that nine of our County Council officers were on salaries exceeding £100,000 and the Chairman receives over £150,000. How they can consider themselves worth at least half as much again as an MP beats me but the real insult is that the million pounds that these nine are lifting out of the public purse is being wasted.

Last year I wrote to the local paper and for a while there was a ripple of response but how does someone expose these incompetent local officers? Who seems to care? How can the local councillors ignore the decay surrounding them and thereby lies the problem. Councillors seem to lose their courage and their common sense the minute they get elected. It is high time they had a few of these officers on the carpet and told them to pull their fingers out.

What on earth some of the visiting Olympic athletes will think of this shit hole when they visit in four year's time. Just in case you think that is irrelevant the university has been bidding to host major Olympic teams for the 2012 Olympics. I just hope that the prospect of this ignomony concentrates a few minds because I tell you what: if this town is allowed to descend into further decay nobody will be able to repair it in time for the Olympics!

I would seriously expect Paula Ratcliffe as she stings her legs on the overgrown nettles and steps over the uncollected dog pooh to move her training camp to altitude. The problem is that the rest of us have to stay here.

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