I do feel a strong sense of unease when I see politicians claiming to have sorted out a problem when all they have really done is pushed it somewhere else for others to sort out.
Sometimes this technique is very obvious.
How aggressive begging is handled is a clear example.
Instead of treating the cause of the problem, authorities are satisfied and even proclaim it as a victory when they move the person responsible from their patch to a neighbouring one.
Most members of the travelling community don’t cause a problem, but there are some who do so, including a willingness to break into and enter public parks or private property.
I don’t in any way condone the behaviour of these people, but they very often point out that local authorities make no provision at all for travellers, which rather limits their choice.
Typically, the Council having failed to provide anywhere for the travellers to pitch down, get an injunction and move them on.
The haven’t solved the problem because the same thing then happens to a neighbouring authority.
In Bournemouth, preferred methods of dealing with homeless people has involved putting metal bars on seats (to stop people sleeping on them) and even handing out free one-way train tickets.
All this is doing is shifting the problem for others to sort out.
I favour a more intelligent approach.
This endless merry go round of shifting problems without finding a proper solution needs to stop.
Local authorities need to work together.
Doing so will end a lot of the misery and actually cost less than the present working method.
I think this sort of thinking works well at a local government level, as well as on a national level.
Instead of building walls, we should be uniting to deal with problems at source.
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It was a most remarkable day at Hampshire County Council today. As Leader of the Liberal Democrat Opposition group, I led the charge against the proposed closure of the Orchard Close Care Home, in Hayling Island.