Where’s my clipboard…
You simply could not make this up:
In summary, a family on a picnic were ordered to take down their windbreak as it was breaking the law. Apparently, according to a bylaw you are not allowed to erect a ‘semi-permanent structure’.
It is people like these two officers who give Councils a bad name. The fact that the Council apologised and said that discretion should have been applied here doesn’t matter – the message is out there and the detractors and critics now have another little bit of ammunition to throw at any and all Councils when something doesn’t go their way. The overwhelming, almost total majority of staff I know are in their jobs for the right reasons – either to make the area they work in a better place or just to earn a bit of money.
It’s the other tiny fraction of (for wont of a better description) jobsworths whose actions result in their well-intentioned colleagues being subjected to ridicule and abuse. These are the people who paint around dead animals in the road, who stop people from using lawnmowers with certification and who are the general bane of our lives.
I know these individuals exist all over the place, but why do their numbers swell and come to the fore when they join a Council? What is it about our organisations that make these people honestly believe that a clipboard and a high-vis vest give them the power to go loopy with impunity?
The Health and Safety Executive do a great ‘myth of the month‘ piece regularly, this month it’s the story that candy floss is banned because of the risks associated with the stick, I recommend you check it out. I might also be able to give you some ideas about somewhere you could put those sticks when you’ve finished with them…