Friday, July 15, 2011

This morning I went with my colleague, Cllr Alan Lewis, to meet the new Neighbourhood Policing Inspector at Thornaby.  It was a chance to air problems which people have brought up with us over the last few months and discuss possible solutions.  We were assured that crime is still very low in our ward and that we have neighbourhood policing is working well.  The most recent flurry of criminal activity has been metal thefts, including lead from bay windows so we were asked to remind people to be aware and keep eyes and ears open.  Many of the problems we discussed have no easy solution, as we all know.  Inconsiderate parking which causes problems for other road users or for pedestrians or cyclists but isn't actually illegal - we've probably all suffered at some time or another and many of us might have been guilty occasionally.  But there's probably no way of stopping it completely.  Nevertheless we did have some thoughts on ways to help people think before they park, so we'll see how it works out.

Later in the day came further updates on the closure of Southern Cross and the welcome news that so far as the council knows at the moment there should be no residents needing to be moved in the borough.  I can't help wondering, though, if the long-term fallout from this episode is going to be the closure of some of the older, more expensive to heat and light, homes and a "consolidation" of places.  On paper that's probably a good thing - increase the occupancy rate in a modern, energy-efficient, easy to clean building.  But for people who've had to make their home in a residential or nursing home the prospect of a move to a new one can be the last straw.  With all its imperfections it's home.  The staff are friends and genuinely care about the residents in most cases.  If ever care and sensitivity were needed this is it.  Let's hope that not too many people are hurt in the process of sorting out this awful mess.

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