Janie and I don’t like public meetings. We really, really don’t. We went to this one, because of our involvement in the Hanger Hill Garden Estate (HHGE) wheelie-bin campaign. So, we felt more or less obliged to attend, despite our near-allergy.
The committee provides a small incentive for people to attend; some half-decent wine to help the time pass. That pleasant gesture only helped us to a limited extent.
The opening act was supposed to be our local MP, Rupa Haq, but her arrival was delayed, so the opening act instead was a local copper explaining crime (or lack thereof) in our neighbourhood. The unfortunate spokesperson wasn’t really “our main copper”, although he is part of the local police team, so he didn’t seem completely on top of HHGE issues.
After the quintessential AGM business of accepting accounts, nominating committee members, etc., eventually Rupa Haq arrived on the stump, making much of the fact that she is a local lass, but mostly being party parochial rather than geographically parochial. I suspect and hope that public speaking is not what Rupa does best.
Eventually the meeting got round to the wheelie-bin debate; arguably the biggest deal on the agenda. Many people wanted, understandably, to have their say and raise questions and issues. But basically, when it came down to the vote on whether people wanted the service road collection idea (the idea I had advocated and helped get the Council to agree to do, if the local people want it), the vast majority of people voted in favour of the idea. Hooray.
It had been a long 135 minutes in the community hall, but basically a successful meeting, from a rubbish point of view.
Janie and I won’t be putting up our hands to attend public meetings again in a hurry. But I shall certainly be putting up my hand for the amazing pasta Janie had prepared for us to eat when we got home; a venison and veal ragù that defies description beyond a big adjective; tremendous.