SO, I got my hands on the most recent copy of the “West Lothian Tenants News” magazine. This periodical is so highly cherished among collectors that copies have been known to create a bidding frenzy on eBay… Okay, I’m kidding. Still, it can always be recycled into something more useful – a paper party hat or hamster bedding, for example.
For those who haven’t had the privilege of receiving it, it’s a 16-page, full-colour, glossy, own-horn-tooting magazine filled with colourful charts and graphs pronouncing how well Oor Cooncil is doing. It also contains recipes, some Top Tips (in the most recent edition there is one that tells you how to make a cucumber stay fresher for longer – I kid you not) and even a Word Search competition.
The latest edition includes a caricature of a little man. He is carrying a clipboard, so you know he means business, and beside this wee cartoon bureaucrat it states: “If you are a West Lothian Council Tenant and have a garden, then you are responsible for keeping it tidy. If you do not, we can arrange to have the work done ourselves and charge you for the cost.”
Oh, really? How accommodating of them. It seems only fair that we should extend them the same courtesy when Oor Cooncil fails in their statutory responsibilities and civic liabilities.
Take a look at the pavement outside your house or in your main street. Are the slabs broken and uneven? How about that collapsed manhole cover? Or the street light that hasn’t worked in a month? Well, the solution is simple: repair it yourself, and send Oor Cooncil the bill!
Have you dropped your car into one of the numerous vertebrae-shattering potholes that pepper our county? Is your street the victim of the Big Freeze, resembling something on which ice hockey teams could happily do battle – but there’s been no sign of the Gritter Critter in over a week? Same thing; call in a contractor and send Oor Cooncil a hefty invoice.
Then there is the hip-high grass, unkempt shrubbery and untouched roadside with its litter-strewn verges. Broken glass and out of control shrubbery in the parklands, or dollops of dog doodoo on the pavement. Council-owned buildings that look like they haven’t seen a lick of paint since before The Blitz. Well, just call in a contractor and have them carry out the work, then send the tab direct to Oor Cooncil.
After all, you’ll be doing them a favour. By arranging to have the work done on their behalf you’ll free up even more little cartoon men with clipboards to wander round the housing stock passing judgement on the standard of the tenant’s gardening skills.
The way I see it, if it’s good enough for the tenants, then… Well, you know the rest.
Update… february 4