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Wednesday January 27 2021

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In Full . . .

THE VILLAGE VIEW

Posted on September 03 2014 at 1:42:22

Our villages are, in the main, brimming with community spirit, making them pleasant places to live.

This summer, villagers have enjoyed all sorts of enjoyable community get-togethers such as fairs and fetes, picnics, open gardens and charitable events, and September brings plenty more.

There’s a junior photographic competition to capture “the spirit of Barnt Green”, the re-opening of the Meadows football pitches in Alvechurch, and the unveiling of the nearby “apple and serpent” sculpture designed to bring people together.

Of course, we do have our problems; recent ones being the traveller incursion in Alvechurch and a crop of burglaries around Barnt Green.

The fact that people care so deeply about these issues – and other ongoing ones such as pavement parking, speeding and dog poo – proves how much they love their villages and want to keep them safe.

With this caring community attitude in mind, a group of volunteers decided at the end of last year to set up a Neighbourhood Watch group in Alvechurch.

They raised the necessary money to fund the distinctive yellow and black signs – which not only identify the area covered by the scheme but also act as a deterrent to criminals – and asked for permission from Worcestershire County Council to erect them on lamp posts around the area.

To date, this permission has still not been received, despite numerous pleas to county councillors from the Neighbourhood Watch group, the chairman of Alvechurch Parish Council, and West Mercia Police’s Community Volunteer Co-ordinator, and the matter being raised at the Community Safety Forum in July.

Instead, there has been a saga of ignored emails, red tape and feeble excuses, leading the group to consider giving up altogether.

It would be a real shame if this fledgling scheme died a death because official assistance was not forthcoming – surely community-minded residents should be encouraged rather than stymied?

It’s small wonder that so many people are fed up with politicians and bureaucrats – if we can’t even get a response to an email at local level, why should we bother expecting anything from those higher up the political food chain?

And if that’s the case, it’s not surprising that some people don’t bother voting at all.


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