Ever wondered how you local council goes about running the place where you live? Didn’t think so, but here is something close to the truth anyway.
Day 1. Mr Bedford of Cornelius Avenue despairs at the state of the paving slabs at the end of his road, and not having much to occupy his time since the kids grew up and his wife ran off with a dashing shoe salesman he sits down at his Remington typewriter and bangs out n irate letter to his local councillor and drops it in the post box, first class.
Day 2. Owing to the British postal system, the envy of the world, having held it up to the light to check for cash, postie then leaves it in the back of his van for three days.
Day 5. Eventually arriving at the sorting office a computer error sends the letter to Aberdeen.
Day 10. It finally arrives at the town hall, where a work-experience kid leaves in the wrong pigeon hole.
Day 14. The Social Services department finally decide the letter was most probably not intended for them and send it along to appropriate office.
Day 15. Mr Bedford’s letter is opened by a clerk to his local councillor, a disgruntled humanities graduate on minimum wage who makes it into a paper aeroplane to shoot around the office while he rings his girlfriend in Thailand on the office phone.
Day 17. The clerk picks it off the floor and shoves it in the local councillor’s in-tray before knocking off early to go the pub
Day 22. Mr Bedford’s local councillor returns with his secretary, with whom he is very close, from conference in Brussels about increasing administrative efficiency.
Day 23. Mr Bedford’s councillor is off again, on an essential trip to Bermuda to discuss twining arrangement with a local resort there, again with his secretary whom he is nailing
Day 32. Now nicely tanned Mr Bedford’s councillor returns to the town hall and begins working through his in-tray. But before he reaches Mr Bedford’s letter he must leave attend a civic dinner with his wife and a night in a local hotel with his secretary.
Day 33. Mr Bedford’s councillor reads Mr Bedford’s letter and realises something should, nay, must be done, to resolve the problems off the broken paving slabs. Before putting it at the bottom of his ‘to-do’ pile.
Day 38. Mr Bedford’s councillor pauses briefly before signing a land deal document with a major supermarket when he realises the land he is about to sell for development are the fields were he once played as a child. Reminded by his assistant the authority is nearly bankrupt from his trips to Bermuda he sighs and shed a single tear.
Day 44. Mr Befdford’s councillor realises the election is approaching and looking for good press coverage and easy votes he remembers Mr Bedford’s letter and digs it out again form the bottom of the pile.
Day 45. Mr Bedford’s councillor rings the Clerk of Works department about the slabs., The phone is answered by a bored humanities graduate, working for an agency who resolves to pass on the message as soon as his a finished starring out of the window imaging all the girls he would pick up travelling the world teaching English as a foreign Language, if he could be bothered.
Day 47. Bored with playing Patience on his computer, the bored humanities graduate he remembers the message he was meant to give his boss and passes it on.
Day 48. The Clerk of Works rings up the multi-national services firm that has taken over the council’s maintenance department to get them to sort Mr Bedford’s slabs. They resolve to send a team down tomorrow
Day 60. A team of unskilled school-leavers and desperate immigrants who work for the multi-national services firm arrive and begin to replace the old slabs, with second hand slabs shipped in from a neighbouring council whose maintenance department the multi-national services firm also runs.
Day 65. The project goes ‘over-budget’ and the multi national services firm demand more tax payer’s money or they will leave the job
Day 75. Work resumes
Day 85. The 8 slabs are replaced but due to the unskilled labour and low quality materials they are worse than before.
Day 86. Mr Bedford of Cornelius Avenue despairs at the state of the paving slabs at the end of his road, and not having much to occupy his time since the kids grew up and his wife ran off with a dashing shoe salesman he sits down at his Remington typewriter and bangs out n irate letter to his local councillor and drops it in the post box, first class. Again.
There you have it kids, I bet you didn’t know how much hard work had to be done to replace just a few slabs eh?
By Kenn Taylor