Between The Lines, by Diane Lines, May 1, 2015

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Sadly, I can no longer be light-hearted, and therefore this is my last column. The reason why? Well, you may have noticed my references over the past few months to rubbish, vandalism, drunks, rudeness – I could go on with the list.

Last November, a kind gentleman ran in to the back of my car, on John Kennedy Way, whilst my car was stationery. The kind lady in the passenger seat made various obscene gestures to me, then the driver drove off, through a red traffic light. Fortunately an observant person took the registration number and telephoned the Police. Subsequently, this person went to court, and received an £85 fine. What happened to me? Well, my car was a write-off. I had to get another car. Guess what – last weekend, when all the drunks were pouring out of the pubs and clubs in Norfolk Street, some of them decided to come in to my road and have a punch up. They also decided to have the punch up around my car. And do you know what, they have ruined one of the doors. On calling in to the police station on Sunday, I was told they were short-staffed, and no-one could talk to me. If you have been a regular reader of this column, you will be aware that the issue of short-staffedness is one of my bugbears.

It seems to be absolutely impossible to go anywhere these days without having to queue. And yet ever more houses cover our town and the surrounding areas. I did have a call from a very nice PC the following day – as expected, there is nothing the police can do. He also said something very telling: “It’s not going to get any better.”

Another thing which has been getting under my skin for many years now is parking in my road. I live in an unadopted road, which means it is not maintained by the council.

Basically it is full of potholes. The good thing is, though, that is a private road.

All the residents have to have cones with their house numbers on (like in that comedy Bread from many years ago). But still people who don’t want to pay to go in to the nearby car park come round and move my cones when I am not there, then park their car in MY space.

Be very wary if you are thinking of doing this – you might end up with an old cone sitting on your nice shiny bonnet.

I am sorry that the town I used to love so much seems to have been taken over by such a malaise.

I told the PC that, this Saturday night, I was going to stand at the end of my road and battle the drunks away on my own if I had to. How very sad.