Last night I went to a PACT meeting in my local area. These things aren’t particularly well advertised so most of you won’t have heard of them – it’s basically a meeting for local residents, a representative from the council, a CSO, a representative from the housing trust and a councillor. This is a national initiative so the chances are there is one operating in your area.
Only the CSO and the Neghbourhood Co-ordinator from the council turned up to the one I went to last night, the housing trust woman was awol and the councillor sent his apologies (probably for the best, guess who it was 😉 ).
It was quite an eye-opener for me for two reasons – firstly, I think the pretendy-copper label given to CSO’s is a bit unfair because it was quite apparent from the meeting last night that they actually work quite hard; and secondly, stuff that I’ve whinged about loads of times will be addressed by the PACT meeting next month.
It also transpires that a suggestion I made yonks ago about different departments being able to find the location of street lamps from the serial numbers is being implemented as I type. The housing estate I live on is like a rabbit warren as you get closer to the centre (luckily I live on the outside) and often it’s impossible to tell which road you’re next to if you see fly tipping or broken fences, etc. but every street light – in theory – has a unique serial number. If you don’t know where you are then you should be able to tell any council worker (or the emergency services, for that matter) the serial number of a street lamp and they should be able to tell where you are.
On a vagulely related (or at least topical) note, walking the dog last night I found a dog waste bin that had been set on fire outside the local primary school. It was only smouldering, there were no flames, so I phoned the police thinking they would send someone with a fire extinguisher rather than dragging a fire engine out to a dustbin that wasn’t actually on fire but no, I was told to ring 999. They sent a land rover which is better than an engine but even so, that land rover could have been needed elsewhere, why do people do these things?