NEIGHBOURS FROM? ( I think you will get the gist)! 20th December 2010.

My yellow mountain bike complete with a Sinclair electric  pedal assisted contraption perched over the rear wheel has been lying in my garage for years.  I bought it in a Birkenhead shop in 1992, after my police career ended as a result of my equality battle with the Home Office and my chief constable.  I had a vision of getting fit and keeping flexible as the dreaded arthritis was slowly beginning  to bite even then. For whatever reason, the dream of hurtling round the neighbourhood  never materialised of course. The bike gathered dust, the tyres went flat and the posh Sinclair was never allowed to propel my ample frame up the slopes.  So I galvanised myself last week, rang Capricorn Animal Rescue and asked them to collect it as it would certainly make something in a charity shop for Christmas. When no one turned up, with the help of Rob the neighbour, we managed to squeeze the machine into the car and having negotiated a snowy lane, I  rolled up with the bike a bag of cat pouches that my cat Coriander refused to eat.  What a transformation to the outhouses behind the Capricorn house since last I was there.  State of the art gleaming white dog pens and runs stood where old caravan and sundry junk once lay and the whole site had been opened out and was clearly on course to be a huge improvement on the old quarters.  I chatted to Shelia Steward in the yard and stroked a couple of moggies who came up to say hello.  “The kennels are barely finished” she told me “& they are already full”.  Next up will be the state of the art heated cat house with every facility just like the ones used by the MOD and the quarantine service”  I went for the best so they should last and not fall foul of ever changing regulations”.  “How much does the best cost?”, I ventured. “£90K,  Shelia replied without hesitation. “How on earth do you raise that sort of capital”? I gasped.  “With difficulty” she responded. As I was leaving I asked if everything was OK now with the Planning Department. As the Chair of Planning and having great regard for Capricorn, I hoped everything was well between them.  “Dreadful time with Enforcement”, Shelia confided. “The smallest thing is reported to them by neighbours down the road and they respond”.  “A scrap merchant took away a caravan & before they could come back to collect a fridge, the complaint went in that I was storing household furniture on the site”  Having sorted out that misunderstanding, three cars came in quick succession to drop off and in went the complaint again.”  Goods were being delivered and that was wrong.” “The first car brought an injured animal, the second a hedgehog and the third three bags of books destined for a charity fayre at the shop”  It seems that the books should not have been dropped off and I should have insisted they were taken to the shop”. “I couldn’t ask them to do that so now if anything is delivered here, I ring the Enforcement boss and tell him what’s going on”. “Amazing, “ I said, “Haven’t  the neighbourhoods got anything better to do but to complain?”  “Seems not”,  said Shelia stoically. I made a mental note to chat to Enforcement and see if there was a solution.  Recently, the Enforcement team has been brought up to strength and they are busy. I know as they have been active in my ward and reasons for their activity is forwarded to the sitting ward cllr for the record. I am not happy that dropping of books and a hedgehog to an animal charity really needs the full weigh of Flintshire County Council Enforcement Team to visit the site. I just wondered how many loads and books and ancient mountain bikes would be needed to bring in the £90K needed for the state of the art cat house alone? I would like to wish Shelia and her loyal and committed band of volunteers for all their hard work thoughout the year.  Flintshire is very lucky to have such a caring facility that opens its doors to injured birds, desperately abused animals and the odd hedgehog that should have been hibernating.  Nothing is turned way at any time, on any day or in any year. I hope those intolerant  neighbours may find a little Christmas goodwill and charity in their hearts in this season of joy and goodwill to all creatures and men. On my part, a very Merry Christmas and Happy new Year to all my constituents, friends and readers of my website.

One Comment

  1. Colin Hughes says:

    You may like to know Alison that the following did a Google search on you today. It shows up on my blog log. They do a search on you most months.

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