25 July 2008

The Chimes of Freedom?

The chimes of freedom are no longer going to ring out in Gala because of Scottish Borders Council. The environmental health officers of SBC have decided to silence the bells between midnight and 7.15 a.m. because they have received one complaint from a local B&B owner. According to the council they are just "moving with the times". Their spokesperson added: "The council had a legal obligation to act based on the findings of environmental health and consultation would not have changed that fact." How is affecting our health? Is it Quasimodo who complained?

The clock stands above a statue of a Border Reiver and the war memorial carries the names of 635 men from Galashiels who died in World War I. Yet SBC decided that the complaint was “not unreasonable.” What has that got to do with environmental health grounds? It’s like someone saying, “I hear what you say.” It normally means they are about to ignore you. According to the spokesperson “The clock dates back to the time when most people would not have had clocks at home and relied on the chimes to help them tell the time, day or night." Oh please! Who are they kidding? So for £850 we’re going to silence the bells. I can think of a lot better ways to spend the money….and that’s not counting how much it cost to investigate the whole affair.

3 comments:

Jim said...

I fully agree with you Richard - but the problem is that in this computer age there is room for more than one god. The PCs do not rule alone. We have Human Rights and European Directives and now, it seems, Environmental Health. And we do not question gods.

So the questions now to be asked are "On what basis did 'environmental health' come to this decision? What factors were considered? Was it just one disciple that decided? Do they fully understand the book they worship. Did they interpret it correctly?

Could they be wrong?"

Violet said...

Yet again SBC demonstrates its complete indifference to the opinions of local people. I wonder how often they fall back on "a legal obligation", and if it is true that they had no choice then what does that say about our law makers?

Not only does the Council stamp upon the feelings of the local community but they insult the memory of the men who died, and their families.

How is it that in countries like France, cockerels crow from dawn to dusk, church bells ring out frequently in towns & villages, town clocks chime day and night, and no-one raises an eyebrow? Are British people so sensitive that the chiming of a clock will carry them off?

One wonders where environmental health will strike next. We can be absolutely sure that some petty bureaucrat will be ready to jump to attention to enforce some further erosion of our freedoms.

As for the B&B owners - didn't they notice the clock when they were buying the business? I suggest they give complimentary earplugs to their guests and let the clock continue to chime both day and night!

Anonymous said...

I tend to agree but there is one aspect of this which disturbs me.
The lady from the B and B did not technically complain she simply asked if something could be done about it and this was the council response.The lady is upset at the furore this has caused and is the victim of some rather unpleasant comments in various quarters and I think she has behaved very well under the strain of national notoriety.
I have another point that this is a unique situation in that the clock and its chimes are an integral part of a war memorial, this sets it apart from precendents.
It is also ironic that this controversy has had so many paper miles and comment on tv nationally but over the years when mills and factories have closed there has been less!
Violet's point is also valid that in some Eurpean countries adherence to the application of these laws is less than complete!! Another reason to throw away the book!
Many people are now getting fed up with enviornmental health protecting us to the point where we have given up much responsibility for oour own actions!