Well done Vale of Glamorgan Council, you really know how to read the room by instinctively realising what’s right for our residents – said absolutely no-one…ever.
I’m absolutely flabbergasted, that despite a staggering £13 million quid reported in reserves, plus the rich revenue from our recent unreal Council Tax hike, they seem keen to hit our hardworking folk with as many money-making moves as possible.
Letters to locals demanding they pay to access their own driveways, pandemic battered businesses charged to take a table or two outside, and parking charges slapped on nearly every top tourist attraction in their area.
Truth be told, I’m actually up for paying for parking in the town – whether it’s for business, leisure or pleasure. And I think proper parking permits for those struggling to find a spot near their homes on a sunny day is a fair step forward.
But couldn’t the Council have taken a bit of time to let our town come back to some sort of post Lockdown life before letting loose with those awful officious letters.
You know the ones that seem to be written with a quill in the tone of the 19th Century. Easy to understand phrases such as ‘scheduled highway inspections’ and ‘properly constructed vehicular crossing agreement.’
Imagine using your driveway for years and then having that gobbledegook letter land on the mat basically telling you to fork out a £1,000 to now get into your own home, or take your chances parking on the street outside.
Now, don’t get me wrong, It’s not that I don’t get the need for dropped kerbs either, but, like I’ve said, it’s just the terrible timing as our cash-strapped community comes out of Coronavirus chaos.
And, as always, the way the Vale Council crash like a bull in a China shop into anything that could be seen as sensitive by the same people they are supposed to serve.
No safe socially distanced Public meetings, open online forums or signs of a satisfactory solution with resident groups here, just a dire diktat to pay up and shut up.
Bit of a community chat would have been nice, leading to a shared understanding, a bit of breathing space and then a gentle reminder that its time to take to the pavements and sort the driveway dilemma out – with help for those who can’t raise the revenue quickly.
No brainer really. For me, its about time the Vale Council starting seeing our resilient residents as crucial to the co-construction of our post pandemic future.
Why not pounce on the Coronavirus aftermath to shake things up a bit, start a new community conversation, and create a more listening local authority.
What do you think.
The Voice of Our Community
Sue Vincent-Jones, writing as Mrs SVJ, is a Barry born journalist, editor, and activist. She blogs about Barry – and her life in the wider world, through the eyes of a, quirky and queer, local girl done good.
Written exclusively for the Vale’s newest newspaper, and digital platform, The Glamorgan Star, this week’s, ‘Passing Comment,’ column, an addition to the infamous Sue’s Views collection, can be found here.