Saturday, December 9, 2023



Yet again, the chairman of Alvechurch Parish felt compelled at the council’s monthly meeting to urge adults to talk to their children about the costs to everyone of vandalism.

He spoke out first at the June meeting after hearing that a chunk had been torn out of the sturdy rubber seat of some new play equipment at The Meadows, while stone seating had been daubed in paint.

Then last month, the council heard there had been yet more vandalism in the village; again at The Meadows and also at a bus shelter on the main road where a window needed to be replaced.

Reluctantly agreeing the council had no choice but to spend £300 on a new window, the chairman lamented that it was becoming a “recurring theme” and made the point that if it wasn’t nipped in the bud, it could encourage others to think that this kind of behaviour was acceptable.

Vandalism and antisocial behaviour have been rare around The Village area, so what could now be encouraging young people to think that damaging the fabric of community life, disrupting people’s lives needlessly and incurring costs for no apparent reason is acceptable?

Is it too much of a stretch to blame the cultural, political and economic damage being threatened against the whole of the country? Would it be a surprise if the threat of this – and the message that this is acceptable – was filtering down to the young as a licence to cause upset in their own communities?

What certainly did come as a surprise to us was  village MP Sajid Javid throwing in his lot with those who would risk the break up of the UK.

For a man who voted “remain” in the 2016 referendum and campaigned against the “leap in the dark” of leaving the EU, never mind jumping into the abyss with no agreement in place, it is difficult to fathom how he can now be willing to control the purse strings of the “no dealers”.

With a General Election apparently looming, it will be interesting to see how the Tory voters of the Bromsgrove constituency – perhaps more aligned with the traditional Conservatism of  Sajid’s predecessor as Chancellor and his efforts to bring a negotiated departure from the EU – view this switch of horses.

Especially as Village-area voters have been showing a growing enthusiasm for eschewing party loyalty to the Tories at the polling booth during recent local elections.

But in the meantime: where are the adults we can talk to about the behaviour of our current Government?

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