Wednesday, 20 August 2008

An open letter to the Residents Association

Dear Residents Association,

A couple of months ago I got a knock on the door from a distressed woman asking me if I had anything to do with a letter that she was brandishing. It contained a legal threat from your good selves regarding her daughter. The lady in question was from the next road along from our little haven and was most upset that her daughter was being banned from playing on our green.

It stated that she was a menace to the area, that she was putting cars at risk with her improvised go carts, that as the child of people who do not live in the road, they were not insured in the event that she managed to injure herself and that local residents were intimidated by her presence. This 12 year old girl represented a sufficient threat to the neighbourhood that legal advice had been sought and the letter in front of me was the culmination of these consultations.

The upshot of this is that the girl is no longer allowed to play with her friends who live on our precious avenue, her family feel alienated from the community because a small clique of self appointed representatives have chosen to mount a massively disproportionate campaign to achieve their own small minded ends. Frankly, I could not be more ashamed to count myself among the people who live on this road.

I personally apologised to the tearful lady on my doorstep and assured her that I had no objection to her daughter playing on the green outside my house. It brings me considerable pleasure to see children playing outside, reminding of those carefree days when my greatest concern was whether or not I would be allowed to play after dinner.

In the time that I have lived here I have witnessed heated debates erupt outside my house between members of the RA and parents whose children were playing on the wrong part of the green. I have seen police style cordons put in place to ensure that children do not play on parts of the green that are being reseeded, assuring that the birds eating the seeds remain undisturbed. I have received minutes from meetings to which I have never been invited because I merely rent a house here and am thus not considered to be a valuable enough member of the community.

The horrible hypocrisy of the matter is that I suspect that the complaining members of the residents association are the very same type of Daily Mail reading authoritarian who routinely berate the council for not providing enough facilities for children. Instead of taking this as a chance to effect positive change for the local kids, helping to resolve your differences with this family through discussion and tolerance, you deferred your responsibility to act as a community to the authorities, hiding behind the law to ensure your petty agenda is met.

I am leaving this road shortly and will remember it as a road full of very kind families whose desires are in no way reflected by the group of small minded, fearful middle Englanders that have appointed themselves to represent them. You should be ashamed of yourselves.

Yours Sincerely

etc etc

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