A CLEANING company owner from Peatmoor has been cleaning up road signs for no other reason than that they need it.

Rob Panther – a top class name for a top class bloke, I’m sure you’ll agree – simply decided that enough was enough, and has so far set about three dozen signs with his specialist gear.

It is impossible to calculate how much good Mr Panther, whose firm is R Panther Cleaning Services, has done in terms of road safety, the general appearance of the town and simply helping people get where they want to go with a minimum of fuss.

I can’t help wondering whose job it actually is to clean the signs, though.

And why they apparently haven’t been doing it all that well.

Moral obligations to disabled people

IF ONLY the principle of treating others as you’d like to be treated yourself could be enshrined in law.
Any political party coming up with a decent scheme along those lines would be guaranteed electoral landslides for years to come.
I’ve been reflecting on this idea ever since I heard about what happened at Gainsborough Court, a sheltered complex operated by Sanctuary Housing in Freshbrook.
Disabled residents told us they’d been stranded in upstairs flats for the best part of three months after the lift failed. Sanctuary blamed the delay on a lack of parts or something like that, and claimed to have offered alternative accommodation for those who needed it.
The residents said in turn that they’d received no such offer – either that or no guarantee that they’d have a ground-floor flat or ready access to a lift in whichever location they were shunted to for the duration.
The first thing I thought on hearing about this was how it could possibly take so long to get a lift working or replace one. Would it take three months or more to fix a broken lift in, say, a luxury hotel of the kind only affordable by rich people such as the six-figure salaried folk generally in charge of housing associations?
The next thing I thought was that it’s time to sharpen certain people’s thinking up a bit.
For example, if a person accepts a job coining it in by being in charge of housing elderly folk with disabilities, they should be obliged to sign certain legally binding agreements. If they’re really confident in  their abilities, they might even prefer to get an elderly relative to sign on their behalf.
Whatever happened to the organisation’s clients would then be mirrored as per the contract.
Lift broken? If the senior executives got it fixed within, say, a fortnight, all would be well. Any longer than that and those executives might just get a phone call from their old mum or dad, demanding to know why a work crew had just turned up at their home and bolted the doors and windows shut with them inside.
“Son, they say I’m not allowed out until the lift is fixed in a block of flats in a place I’ve never heard of. How am I supposed to go out and do my shopping?”
I think this would be a great idea – nearly as good as the one I had about obliging rail bosses to be welded into carriages weekly for however long their trains had been delayed.
Or supermarket bosses being obliged to eat one whole specimen of any animal whose meat found its way unofficially into a ready meal. That would be a great way of protecting consumers, although not such good news for horses, dogs, cats and perhaps the odd badger and three-toed sloth.
Unfortunately, getting such ideas to be accepted by our leaders can be a bit difficult, as they tend to hang about in the same social circles as the people who’d be inconvenienced.