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Wednesday, January 19, 2022



You might have thought that by this stage in the 21st century, headline writers would no longer need to be using the word “bungle” in their daily work.

Yet our public services are, on the face of it, becoming less competent, rather than more,  leaving caring villagers tearing out their hair in frustration.

Bungle follows bungle follows bungle . . . and whether the cause is a lack of resources as cash is leached away “to pay off the deficit”, or people just don’t particularly care if something isn’t done properly, the response seems to be a shrug of the shoulders, mañana-fashion.

So, we misspelled the name of a Saxon king on your road sign? Well, it’s too late to do anything now; you’ll just have to put up with it.

Or, your electricity has gone off again? Alvechurch has more power cuts than a third-world village? Oh, well, just make sure your computers are off next time so your hard drives don’t grind themselves into magnetic dust.

What, really? You want to cross the railway line on this public footpath you’ve used for decades? Ah, well, sorry: we’ve only just noticed that it might be a tad dangerous, so we’ve shut down the whole lot for now (and it’s nothing to do with the fact that the footbridge which would solve this would cost £1 million).

So, you’ve dialled 111 from Bordesley and ended up in casualty in Birmingham rather than The Alex – and social services won’t help you there because you live in Worcestershire? Well, if only you’d known to ask to go to Redditch, but it’s too late now.

No? You didn’t want a million tonnes of waste carried by noisy lorries and tipped on the Lickey Hills? You should have said. Oh, you did, and we didn’t listen? Well, we’ll just have endless “working group” meetings where nothing happens until everyone loses the will to live.

And, to cap it all, your long-awaited speed enforcement campaign on Hopwood Hill has been canned because the people in charge of sorting the regulations covering speed limits have, well, bungled.

Another sigh, another headline to write, but the reality is that a lot of villagers are becoming very, very frustrated.

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