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Margaret Thatcher


Waste, Waste and More Waste

Well, despite constantly hearing the bleating of various local authorities around the UK about funding shortages it seems Ashfield Council in Kirkby-in-Ashfield have money to burn. Good news for all the residents maybe, perhaps the care home closures, pothole issues, blocked ditches causing flooding and other local problems will now be addressed. Or maybe not! Actually their "windfall" is being spent on new roofs for their housing stock - all their houses apparently, and flats too. Must run into millions in Kirkby, maybe more if they are re-roofing in other areas too. And of course, who pays? Nottinghamshire Council or Ashfield, it's always difficult to tell who pays for what with councils. The only sure thing is where the money comes from - the taxpayers! And who gets the benefits - generally NON taxpayers. Ashfield are particularly adept at rebistributing wealth in this way, but Nottinghamshire County Council is not far behind. Taxpayers gripes such as potholes are ignored here while the custodians of our tax money shell out right left and centre for their pet projects, particularly it seems, in the period just before the tax year ends. Hmmm, wonder why that might be?
But of course maybe every house or apartment block Ashfield Council owns has leaking roofs, or major structural issues. Perhaps this profligate spending spree is designed to save the poor old buildings from collapse. Or maybe NOT! Living on one of these estates, in a privately purchased house, my roof is identical to those being replaced, and is NOT in need of repair or replacement - thankfully, because as a private owner I cannot afford to have it done. But as I look out of my front window and watch the scaffolding going up opposite it gives me a warm glow inside to think of my tax money being used in such a worthwhile cause, as I maybe look out my back window to see my garden flooded once more due to the ditches below Kingsway Park not being cleaned out and adjacent properties being regularly flooded when we get significant rainfall! Ah, our local council is so thoughtful, always thinking of others. I mean other ways to spend vast amounts without keeping the basic infrastructure in good repair. Finding ways to fund minorities while the taxpaying majority has to cope with floods, potholes, reduced services and elected councillors who say one thing and do another. And voting them out is no good, the next lot do exactly the same. Central government in the UK is a disgrace but worse is the stench of local government abuse and croneyism, stronger because the whiff comes from our own town, so much closer than Whitehall.
LATEST (2017-18)
This is the year for roadworks, not of course resurfacing or repairing potholes. Oh no,  the potholes are still present and breeding rapidly! Why? Because the town and surrounding areas has been plagued since early 2017 by non-stop excavations of roads and pavements. Traffic lights everywhere causing intolerable delays and at times roads being closed completely (Kirkby to Ravenshead for example). It seems every contractor for miles around is having a go, specialising (as in Low Moor Road) in returning week after week to dig up the same stretch again and again. And when they have gone what is left. A patchwork effect, uneven surfaces and muddy verges where previously there was neat grass. Are these vandals not obliged to repair properly and re-turf where they have been digging (Shoulder of Mutton Hill). It is continual and frustrating for residents and motorists and of course the legacy is more potholes which follow on nasturally from the poor patches to the roads. 2018 will bring higher poll tax of course, and 2017 gave us a change of councillors but neither will give us a break from our atrocious roads and the contracting vandals.