Saturday, April 29, 2006

Bureaucracy in action

One consequence of having young children (one of whom is an early riser) is that you find yourself watching children’s television programmes. The storylines I see through bleary sleep-robbed eyes in the morning may be a little far fetched but they have nothing on some of the real life problems I regularly confront in Monmouthshire.

Here are two examples I came across yesterday: On the road between Monmouth and Chepstow in the middle of the Monmouthshire countryside lies the little village of Trellech, population – a few hundred. A recent development has seen half a dozen houses built into a cul-de-sac. They are very easy to find at night because unlike the rest of the village, not to say the miles of open countryside which surround it, the narrow cul-de-sac is lit up by an array of piercingly bright streetlamps. The residents complained that they did not move into the countryside expecting to find their rooms lit up like a prison camp after a breakout so I made enquiries.

The developers didn’t want the expense of putting in streetlights every few yards but were told to do so by the Council. The Council don’t want the expense of paying for electricity every night to light up a cul-de-sac in an isolated village but say they are following government guidance. As a result at great expense a rural idyll is being lit up like Wembly Stadium on cup final night. One nil to the bureaucrats. I have been promised that next week someone from the council will be coming out to try and shield the houses from the lights which neither they nor the council want, but which a regulation states they must have.

The same afternoon I visited to a farm in Dingestow. Had the farmer not been good friend I would have located it easily enough from the stench of a decaying cow which had been there since Tuesday. Why was this bloated rotting stinking carcass lying a few yards from the front door of a respected farming family? Because Under EU regulations it is now an offence for farmers to deal with their own dead livestock. When a cow dies they have to wait from a government approved livestock collector to remove the carcass. The company with the contract for Monmouthshire are based in West Wales and various excuses had been offered for their non-appearance to date.
Only the EU could come up with a set of regulations that could allow this to happen. Only Britain would be stupid enough to adhere to them.


Blogger Anthropax said...

Isn't the hunt allowed to come and dispose of the carcass?
I may be a little hazy not being at home on the farm, but I recall the local hunt being allowed to come and dispose of dead animals (we'd even get a little price listing every now and then)

4:56 PM  
Blogger David Davies AM said...

Good question I asked it myself. The answer is that they can but only if the cow is alive and has to be put down. If the cow is found to be dead then it has to be taken away by the nominated person. More rules and regs I'm afraid.

11:42 AM  
Blogger Jonathan Williams said...

Government bureaucracy at its finest. As someone who works in a Provincial party caucus in Canada I can tell you the EU is not alone in such stupidity.

7:28 PM  
Blogger Derek of Monmouth said...

We all have a rant at the stupidity of the government/EU.
But when is the Conservative opposition going to take the Government on head first. They (Government) have made so may cock ups that the amunition is endless. But all we see is the opposition pussy footing around. We the public will only vote for a party that is strong and puts the good of the BRITISH public at the forefront of its fight to be the Government.

11:42 AM  
Blogger Gwilym said...

saw your site on James Skinners webpage (another Monmouth fellow) so thought id visit.

And did we expect any less from the European Union? Considering they create about 80% of Britains laws now...its no wonder that farmers have no control over their livestock anymore.

5:31 AM  
Blogger Welsh Spin said...

When my Granny died the government didn't offer to come around and take her away!

Her familly had to appoint a private contractor and foot the bill.

Bloody farmers get away with murder. They should have to dispose of their own dead animals, and those who choose to cut corners by burying them next to a watercourse or something equally unhygenic should be prosecuted.

9:05 AM  

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