There was an interesting article in yesterday's Independent on Sunday about the issue of the 'collapse of civility', an issue both the Government and Opposition parties are discussing at present.
Intriguingly, the newspaper columnist, while saying that the political parties seem able to describe the problem but fail to come up with any meaningful answers, did put forward his own solution. He suggested the "World Wide Web should be complemented by a Street Wide Web."
In a nutshell, he said: "A plan should be put in place to enable every street in every town to have its own website...websites could display information, family photographs, items for sale, community news, gossip, car-pooling information, child-care possibilities, recommendations of local workmen – the possibilities are endless."
He went on to say: "If there has been a burglary, or a mugging, other residents will find out immediately and know to take precautions," and much more. It seemed such a good idea – and one that Audlem reached two years ago when over 80% who filled in Parish Plan questionnaires said they wanted a local website. That call led to the start of Audlem Online.
Yes, there are a few ideas that we haven't got underway yet. We are working on an 'items for sale' feature – we're planning to call it A-buy, naturally, and can't imagine why nobody else has come with this name! We debated 'naming & shaming', which the newspaper advocated, and decided against it, and, fortunately, we haven't had to put up a 'mugging' warning, although we have run many other warnings from PC Ken Maple about dodgy cars and the occasional burglary or theft.
Overall, the newspaper seemed to be arguing for what we are already doing. Audlem Online may not be a 'street' website, but the population we serve is probably about the same as many London streets – so we'll take the article as a welcome endorsement. As was, of course, last year's national award as the 'Village of the Year' for 'Building Community Life'!
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