I had planned to write this post a couple of days back which is why it is rather old news now, but I think it's still pertinent. Unfortunately, thanks to the attentions of the driver of a German 4x4 I've spent most of the last two days sorting out a replacement car while the Alfa sits on my drive with its rear end in a very sorry state.
Anyway, the issue that came to my attention was regarding the response of Fiona Pilkington's local council who deemed that her problems with "anti-social behaviour" were a "low priority". To understand why they would do this it is necessary to understand what motivates local councils these days,
The reality is that Fiona Pilkington killed herself and her disabled daughter because she was abandoned by the local authorities whose job it was to protect her from what was actually persistent victimisation and criminal behaviour - not anti-social. Anti-social means urinating on the street or swearing loudly in a pub - i.e. it is not behaviour aimed at any individual, just something that society should not be expected to tolerate. What happened to Fiona Pilkington went far beyond "anti-social".
However, the thing is that most - if not all - local councils consider this sort of thing to be low priority these days. For some daft reason, most local councils don't focus on local issues anymore - their priorities are on global, and often very contentious issues. They are more concerned about the plight of some distant native of the Maldives than they are worried about the growing rat population in Acacia Avenue due to the fact that the bins haven't been emptied for six weeks.
For most councils, dealing with the issues of the people is an unwanted distraction from their real priority of "saving the environment" - but perhaps the biggest irony is that while they supposedly strive to make the environment better for people in Bangladesh or Bangalore (striving that make absolutely no difference whatsoever, by the way) the local environment descends into a chaotic morass of filth and despair. Hence bins are overflowing, rats roam the streets which are covered with broken glass and graffiti and the pleas of Fiona Pilkington go unheard while local councils worry about the plight polar bears.
Local councils and authorities need to remember what and who they are supposed to be working for. The clue is in the name.